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Characterization of members of type IV and type IIC of human P-type ATPase Liou, Angela Yen-Chun


P-type ATPases comprise a superfamily of proteins that play vital roles in the human body and can cause severe diseases if their functions are impaired. P₄-ATPases or type 4 of P-type ATPases are implicated in the ATP-dependent flipping of phospholipids across cell membranes. This generates and maintains transverse phospholipid asymmetry, a property important for biological processes including vesicle trafficking. ATP9A is a P₄-ATPase that remains poorly characterized despite its high expression in brain and testis. Interestingly, loss of Neo1p, the yeast ortholog of ATP9A, is lethal. The first part of this study investigates the functional properties and cellular localization of ATP9A. Human ATP9A was expressed in HEK293T cells and characterized using biochemical and cell-based approaches. ATP9A exhibited little if any phospholipid-dependent ATPase activity, but underwent hydroxylamine-sensitive phosphorylation, a characteristic feature of the P-type ATPase reaction cycle. A monoclonal antibody to ATP9A was generated for analysis of ATP9A in cells and brain tissues by western blotting and immunofluorescence microscopy. In transfected HEK293T cells ATP9A localized to perinuclear and peripheral punctate structures possibly related to the endocytic pathway. Our findings suggest that ATP9A undergoes autophosphorylation, but fails to dephosphorylate, possibly due to lack of an accessory protein or a specific substrate. Further studies on endogenous ATP9A should provide further insight into its physiological function and possible role in human disease. On the other hand, Na⁺/K⁺-ATPase (NKA) belongs to type 2C of P-type ATPases and establishes Na⁺ and K⁺ gradients across cell membranes. NKA has been shown to interact with retinoschisin (RS1), an adhesion protein essential for normal retinal structure and function. Mutations in the gene encoding RS1 cause a macular degeneration disorder called X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS). RS1 is thought to be anchored to the membranes of photoreceptor and bipolar cells through interaction with the α3 and β2 isoforms of NKA. The second part aims to characterize the RS1-NKA complex by generating monoclonal antibodies specific for the components. Indeed, immunoaffinity purification of NKAβ2 from bovine retinal membranes co-immunoprecipitated the α3 subunit and RS1. Tandem affinity purification of the native protein complexes should enhance understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying XLRS.

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