Constitutively Active Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase and AKT are Sufficient to Stimulate the Epithelial Na+/H+ Exchanger 3

Whaseon Lee-Kwon, David C. Johns, Boyoung Cha, Megan Cavet, Joseph Park, Philip Tsichlis, Mark Donowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) is a cytoplasmic signaling molecule that is recruited to activated growth factor receptors and has been shown to be involved in regulation of stimulated exocytosis and endocytosis. One of the downstream signaling molecules activated by PI 3-kinase is the protein kinase Akt. Previous studies have indicated that PI 3-kinase is necessary for basal Na+/H+ exchanger 3 (NHE3) transport and for fibroblast growth factor-stimulated NHE3 activity in PS120 fibroblasts. However, it is not known whether activation of PI 3-kinase is sufficient to stimulate NHE3 activity or whether Akt is involved in this PI 3-kinase effect. We used an adenoviral infection system to test the possibility that activation of PI 3-kinase or Akt alone is sufficient to stimulate NHE3 activity. This hypothesis was investigated in PS120 fibroblasts stably expressing NHE3 after somatic gene transfer using a replication-deficient recombinant adenovirus containing constitutively active catalytic subunit of PI 3-kinase or constitutively active Akt. The adenovirus construct used was engineered with an upstream ecdysone promoter to allow time-regulated expression. Adenoviral infection was nearly 100% at 48 h after infection. Forty-eight hours after infection (24 h after activation of the ecdysone promoter), PI 3-kinase and Akt amount and activity were increased. Increases in both PI 3-kinase activity and Akt activity stimulated NHE3 transport. In addition, a membrane-permeant synthetic 10-mer pep. tide that binds polyphosphoinositides and increases PI 3-kinase activity similarly enhanced NHE3 transport activity and also increased the percentage of NHE3 on the plasma membrane. The magnitudes of stimulation of NHE3 by constitutively active PI 3-kinase, PI 3-kinase peptide, and constitutively active Akt were similar to each other. These results demonstrate that activation of PI 3-kinase or Akt is sufficient to stimulate NHE3 transport activity in PS120/NHE3 cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31296-31304
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 17 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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