Hypertension is a major public health concern because it is an important risk factor for many other diseases including congestive heart failure, stroke, and end-stage renal disease. The constitutive activation of epithelial sodium channels (ENaC) leads to severe hypertension, while subtle stimulation of ENaC may contribute to essential hypertension. Therefore, understanding the regulation of ENaC is important to understand the etiology of hypertension. Our laboratory was among the first to show that ENaC activity requires binding of phosphatidylinositol bis-phosphate (PIP2) to the amino terminal domain of ENaC subunits. We used a tissue culture model of distal nephron sodium transport and we showed that the PIP2 dependent regulation of ENaC is mediated by an adaptor protein, myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS), that binds PIP2 and increases the local concentration of PIP2 near ENaC and, thereby, activates ENaC. The myristoylated amino terminal domain and the basic effector domain of MARCKS both contribute to its function at the apical plasma membrane. The function of MARCKS can be regulated by posttranslational modifications, association with calcium/calmodulin, and proteolysis so that regulation of MARCKS is also important for regulating ENaC.
The aims of this project are to show how MARCKS regulates ENaC in vivo and identify the molecular mechanisms that regulate MARCKS activity at the apical membrane of renal epithelial cells.

Public Health Relevance

The purpose of this project is to identify the mechanism by which amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channels are regulated in the kidney by phosphatidylinositol bis- phosphate and myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases D Subcommittee (DDK)
Program Officer
Rankin, Tracy L
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Florida
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Downs, Charles A; Dang, Viet D; Johnson, Nicholle M et al. (2018) Hydrogen Peroxide Stimulates Exosomal Cathepsin B Regulation of the Receptor for Advanced Glycation End-Products (RAGE). J Cell Biochem 119:599-606
Trac, Phi T; Thai, Tiffany L; Linck, Valerie et al. (2017) Alveolar nonselective channels are ASIC1a/?-ENaC channels and contribute to AFC. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 312:L797-L811
Dang, Viet D; Jella, Kishore Kumar; Ragheb, Ragy R T et al. (2017) Lipidomic and proteomic analysis of exosomes from mouse cortical collecting duct cells. FASEB J 31:5399-5408
Montgomery, Darrice S; Yu, Ling; Ghazi, Zinah M et al. (2017) ENaC activity is regulated by calpain-2 proteolysis of MARCKS proteins. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 313:C42-C53
Jella, Kishore Kumar; Yu, Ling; Yue, Qiang et al. (2016) Exosomal GAPDH from Proximal Tubule Cells Regulate ENaC Activity. PLoS One 11:e0165763
Mistry, Abinash C; Wynne, Brandi M; Yu, Ling et al. (2016) The sodium chloride cotransporter (NCC) and epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) associate. Biochem J 473:3237-52
Lucas, Rudolf; Yue, Qiang; Alli, Abdel et al. (2016) The Lectin-like Domain of TNF Increases ENaC Open Probability through a Novel Site at the Interface between the Second Transmembrane and C-terminal Domains of the ?-Subunit. J Biol Chem 291:23440-23451
Alli, Abdel A; Bao, Hui-Fang; Liu, Bing-Chen et al. (2015) Calmodulin and CaMKII modulate ENaC activity by regulating the association of MARCKS and the cytoskeleton with the apical membrane. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 309:F456-63
Czikora, István; Alli, Abdel; Bao, Hui-Fang et al. (2014) A novel tumor necrosis factor-mediated mechanism of direct epithelial sodium channel activation. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 190:522-32
Reifenberger, Matthew S; Yu, Ling; Bao, Hui-Fang et al. (2014) Cytochalasin E alters the cytoskeleton and decreases ENaC activity in Xenopus 2F3 cells. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 307:F86-95