Activation of Protein Kinase Cζ Increases OAT1 (SLC22A6)- and OAT3 (SLC22A8)-mediated Transport

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Journal of Biological Chemistry





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Originally published at doi:10.1074/jbc.M808078200

PMCID: PMC2631969

Douglas H. Sweet was at Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina at the time of publication.

Date of Submission

October 2015


Organic anion transporters (OATs) play a pivotal role in the clearance of small organic anions by the kidney, yet little is known about how their activity is regulated. A yeast two-hybrid assay was used to identify putative OAT3-associated proteins in the kidney. Atypical protein kinase Cζ (PKCζ) was shown to bind to OAT3. Binding was confirmed in immunoprecipitation assays. The OAT3/PKCζ interaction was investigated in rodent renal cortical slices from fasted animals. Insulin, an upstream activator of PKCζ, increased both OAT3-mediated uptake of estrone sulfate (ES) and PKCζ activity. Both effects were abolished by a PKCζ-specific pseudosubstrate inhibitor. Increased ES transport was not observed in renal slices from OAT3-null mice. Transport of the shared OAT1/OAT3 substrate, ρ-aminohippurate, behaved similarly, except that stimulation was reduced, not abolished, in the OAT3-null mice. This suggested that OAT1 activity was also modified by PKCζ, subsequently confirmed using an OAT1-specific substrate, adefovir. Inhibition of PKCζ also blocked the increase in ES uptake seen in response to epidermal growth factor and to activation of protein kinase A. Thus, PKCζ acted downstream of the epidermal growth factor to protein kinase A signaling pathway. Activation of transport was accompanied by an increase in Vmax and was blocked by microtubule disruption, indicating that activation may result from trafficking of OAT3 into the plasma membrane. These data demonstrate that PKCζ activation up-regulates OAT1 and OAT3 function, and that protein-protein interactions play a central role controlling these two important renal drug transporters.

Organic anion transporters (OATs)7 are members of the solute carrier 22A family and play a pivotal role in the renal clearance of small (<500 >Dalton) anionic drugs, xenobiotics, and their metabolites. OAT substrates include a variety of drugs such as β-lactam antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics, and chemotherapeutics (1). OATs are predominantly expressed in renal proximal tubule, with OATs 1–3 localized to the basolateral membrane and OAT4 and URAT1 on the apical membrane. OATs 1 and 3 are dicarboxylate exchangers, and are indirectly coupled to the sodium gradient maintained by Na,K-ATPase through sodium/dicarboxylate co-transport to drive the uphill basolateral step in renal organic anion secretion (2).

Although the ionic gradients, electrophysiology, and underlying kinetics that drive transport by OATs 1 and 3 are well characterized, physiologically important interactions of these basolateral OATs with membrane or cytosolic proteins have yet to be identified (1). Nevertheless, there is clear evidence that other plasma membrane transporters do interact with protein partners, influencing a diverse array of functions including transport itself, cytoskeletal structure, vesicle formation, and trafficking, as well as signaling (3). Among the transporters with activity modulated by protein-protein interactions, particularly by the PDZ proteins, PDZK1 and NHERFs 1 and 2, are apical drug transporters of the SLC22A family, including OCTN1, OCTN2, OAT4, and URAT1 (4–6).

In the present study, we have used a yeast two-hybrid assay to identify putative protein partners that interact directly with OAT3. The C-terminal 81 amino acids of OAT3 were used as bait to screen a human cDNA kidney library. Among the 23 positive clones (putative binding partners) was a clone encoding the C-terminal 141 amino acids of atypical protein kinase Cζ (PKCζ). Functional consequences of the putative OAT3/PKCζ interaction were investigated in rodent renal slices. The resulting data indicate that activation of PKCζ by insulin or epidermal growth factor (EGF) increased OAT3- and OAT1-mediated transport. Thus, PKCζ controls function of both major secretory organic anion transporters expressed at the basolateral face of the renal proximal tubule, positioning it to regulate the efficacy of renal drug elimination.


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