|Keywords: ||Astrocytes, glutamate transporter GLAST, D-aspartate, (Na+,K+)-dependent ATPase, rottlerin, digoxin, ouabain, monolayer|
|Abstract: ||Glutamate transporters play a role in removing extracellular excitatory neurotransmitter, L-glutamate into the cells. The rate of the uptake depends on the density of the transporters at the membrane. Some studies claimed that glutamate transporters could transit between the cytoplasm and the membrane on a time-scale of minutes. The present study examined the distribution of glutamate transporter GLAST predominantly expressed in rat cortical cultured astrocytes between the membrane and the cytoplasm by using deconvolution microscopy and then analyzing the images. The regulation of the distribution of GLAST was studied in the presence of glutamate transporter substrate (D-aspartate), purinergic receptor activators (α,β-methylene ATP, adenosine), neuroleptic drugs (clozapine, haloperidol), ammonia (hyperammonia) and Na+/K+-ATPase inhibitors (ouabain, digoxin and FCCP).
It was demonstrated that the translocation of GLAST towards the plasma membrane was induced by D-aspartate, α,β-methylene ATP, adenosine, clozapine and ammonia (at 100 μM and very high concentrations of 10 mM). However, the inhibition of Na+/K+-ATPase activity had an opposite effect, resulting in redistribution of GLAST away from the membrane.
It has previously been claimed that the membrane-cytoplasm trafficking of GLAST was regulated by phosphorylation catalysed by protein kinase C delta (PKC-delta). Involvement of this mechanism has, however, been put to doubt when rottlerin, a PKC-delta inhibitor, used to test the hypothesis showed to inhibit Na+/K+-ATPase-mediated uptake of Rb+, suggesting that rottlerin influenced the activity of Na+/K+-ATPase. As Na+/K+-ATPase converts ATP to energy and pumps Na+, K+ ions, thus helping to maintain normal electrochemical and ionic gradients across the cell membrane. Its inhibition also reduced D-aspartate transport and could impact on the cytoplasm-to-membrane traffic of GLAST molecules. Furthermore, rottlerin decreased the activity of Na+/K+-ATPase by acting as a mitochondrial inhibitor. The present study has focused on the inhibition of Na+/K+-ATPase activity by rottlerin, ouabain and digoxin in homogenates prepared from rat kidney and cultured astrocytes. The activity of Na+/K+-ATPase was measured by the absorption of inorganic phosphate product generated from the hydrolysis of ATP and the fluorescent transition of the dye RH421 induced by the movement of Na+/K+-ATPase. This approach has a potential to test whether the rottlerin effect on Na+/K+-ATPase is a direct inhibition of the enzyme activity.
Rottlerin has been found to block the activity of Na+/K+-ATPase in a dose-dependent manner in both rat kidney and astrocyte homogenates. Therefore, rottlerin inhibited the activity of Na+/K+-ATPase directly in a cell-free preparation, thus strongly indicating that the effect was direct on the enzyme. In parallel experiments, ouabain and digoxin produced similar inhibitions of Na+/K+-ATPase activity in rat kidney while digoxin blocked the activity of Na+/K+-ATPase to a greater extent than ouabain in rat cortical cultured astrocytes. In a separate set of experiments, Na+/K+-ATPase in the astrocytic membrane was found to be unsaturated in E1(Na+)3 conformation in the presence of Na+ ions and this could explain the differences between the effects of digoxin and ouabain on the activity of Na+/K+-ATPase in rat astrocytes. In addition, it was found that at low concentrations of rottlerin, the activity of Na+/K+-ATPase was increased rather than inhibited. This effect was further investigated by studying rottlerin interactions with membrane lipids.
The activity of Na+/K+-ATPase has been reported to be regulated by membrane lipids. The enzyme activity can be enhanced by increasing fluidity of the lipid membrane. I have, therefore, proposed that rottlerin binds to the membrane lipids and the effects of rottlerin on Na+/K+-ATPase are mediated by changes in the properties (fluidity) of the membrane. The hypothesis was tested by comparing rottlerin and a detergent, DOC (sodium deoxycholate), for their binding to the lipids by using a DMPC (1,2-Dimyristoyl-sn-Glycero-3-Phosphocholine) monolayer technique. DOC has been shown to both increase and inhibit activity of Na+/K+-ATPase in a manner similar to that displayed by rottlerin. The effects of rottlerin and DOC on the DMPC monolayers were studied by measuring the surface pressure of DMPC monolayers and surface area per DMPC molecule. I established that both rottlerin and DOC decreased the surface pressure of DMPC monolayers and increased the surface area per DMPC molecule. This indicates that both rottlerin and DOC penetrated into the DMPC monolayers. If rottlerin can interact with the lipids, changes in fluidity of the lipid membrane cannot be ruled out and should be considered as a possible factor contributing to the effects of rottlerin on the activity of Na+/K+-ATPase.
Overall, the study demonstrates that rottlerin is not only a PKC-delta inhibitor but can have additional effects, both on the enzyme activities (Na+/K+-ATPase) and/or on lipid-containing biological structures such as membranes. The findings have implication not only for studies where rottlerin was used as a supposedly specific PKC-delta inhibitor but also for mechanisms of its toxicity.|