Ion transport function of SLC4A11 in corneal endothelium.

Investigative ophthalmology & visual science (2013-06-08)
Supriya S Jalimarada, Diego G Ogando, Eranga N Vithana, Joseph A Bonanno

Mutations in SLC4A11, a member of the SLC4 superfamily of bicarbonate transporters, give rise to corneal endothelial cell dystrophies. SLC4A11 is a putative Na⁺ borate and Na⁺:OH⁻ transporter. Therefore we ask whether SLC4A11 in corneal endothelium transports borate (B[OH]₄⁻), bicarbonate (HCO3⁻), or hydroxyl (OH⁻) anions coupled to Na⁺. SLC4A11 expression in cultured primary bovine corneal endothelial cells (BCECs) was determined by semiquantitative PCR, SDS-PAGE/Western blotting, and immunofluorescence staining. Ion transport function was examined by measuring intracellular pH (pHi) or Na⁺ ([Na⁺](i)) in response to Ringer solutions with/without B(OH)₄⁻ or HCO₃⁻ after overexpressing or small interfering RNA (siRNA) silencing of SLC4A11. SLC4A11 is localized to the basolateral membrane in BCEC. B(OH)₄⁻ (2.5-10 mM) in bicarbonate-free Ringer induced a rapid small acidification (0.01 pH unit) followed by alkalinization (0.05-0.1 pH unit), consistent with diffusion of boric acid into the cell followed by B(OH)₄⁻. However, the rate of B(OH)₄⁻-induced pHi change was unaffected by overexpression of SLC4A11. B(OH)₄⁻ did not induce significant changes in resting [Na⁺(i)] or the amplitude and rate of acidification caused by Na⁺ removal. siRNA-mediated knockdown of SLC4A11 (∼70%) did not alter pHi responses to CO₂/HCO₃⁻-rich Ringer, Na⁺-free induced acidification, or the rate of Na⁺ influx in the presence of bicarbonate. However, in the absence of bicarbonate, siSLC4A11 knockdown significantly decreased the rate (43%) and amplitude (48%) of acidification due to Na⁺ removal and recovery (53%) upon add-back. Additionally, the rate of acid recovery following NH₄⁺ prepulse was decreased significantly (27%) by SLC4A11 silencing. In corneal endothelium, SLC4A11 displays robust Na⁺-coupled OH⁻ transport, but does not transport B(OH)₄⁻ or HCO₃⁻.

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