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  • Transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) proteolytically activates the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) by cleaving the channel's γ-subunit.

Transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) proteolytically activates the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) by cleaving the channel's γ-subunit.

The Journal of biological chemistry (2022-05-04)
Florian Sure, Marko Bertog, Sara Afonso, Alexei Diakov, Ralf Rinke, M Gregor Madej, Sabine Wittmann, Thomas Gramberg, Christoph Korbmacher, Alexandr V Ilyaskin
ABSTRACT

The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is a heterotrimer consisting of α-, β-, and γ-subunits. Channel activation requires proteolytic release of inhibitory tracts from the extracellular domains of α-ENaC and γ-ENaC; however, the proteases involved in the removal of the γ-inhibitory tract remain unclear. In several epithelial tissues, ENaC is coexpressed with the transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2). Here, we explored the effect of human TMPRSS2 on human αβγ-ENaC heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. We found that coexpression of TMPRSS2 stimulated ENaC-mediated whole-cell currents by approximately threefold, likely because of an increase in average channel open probability. Furthermore, TMPRSS2-dependent ENaC stimulation was not observed using a catalytically inactive TMPRSS2 mutant and was associated with fully cleaved γ-ENaC in the intracellular and cell surface protein fractions. This stimulatory effect of TMPRSS2 on ENaC was partially preserved when inhibiting its proteolytic activity at the cell surface using aprotinin but was abolished when the γ-inhibitory tract remained attached to its binding site following introduction of two cysteine residues (S155C-Q426C) to form a disulfide bridge. In addition, computer simulations and site-directed mutagenesis experiments indicated that TMPRSS2 can cleave γ-ENaC at sites both proximal and distal to the γ-inhibitory tract. This suggests a dual role of TMPRSS2 in the proteolytic release of the γ-inhibitory tract. Finally, we demonstrated that TMPRSS2 knockdown in cultured human airway epithelial cells (H441) reduced baseline proteolytic activation of endogenously expressed ENaC. Thus, we conclude that TMPRSS2 is likely to contribute to proteolytic ENaC activation in epithelial tissues in vivo.

MATERIALS
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Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Anti-TMPRSS2 Antibody, clone P5H9-A3, clone P5H9-A3, from mouse