Biomolecules & Therapeutics  
Sustained Intracellular Acidosis Triggers the Na+/H+ Exchager-1 Activation in Glutamate Excitotoxicity
Bo Kyung Lee1,* and Yi-Sook Jung1,2,*
1College of Pharmacy, Ajou University, Suwon 16499,
2Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology, Ajou University, Suwon 16499, Republic of Korea
E-mail: yisjung@ajou.ac.kr (Jung YS), pfiffer@ajou.ac.kr (Lee BK)
Tel: +82-31-219-3444 (Jung YS), +82-31-219-3501 (Lee BK)
Fax: +82-31-219-3435 (Jung YS), +82-31-219-3435 (Lee BK)
Received: February 2, 2017; Revised: March 8, 2017; Accepted: March 18, 2017; Published online: June 14, 2017.
© The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology. All rights reserved.

Abstract
The Na+/H+ exchanger-1 (NHE-1) is a ubiquitously expressed pH-regulatory membrane protein that functions in the brain, heart, and other organs. It is increased by intracellular acidosis through the interaction of intracellular H+ with an allosteric modifier site in the transport domain. In the previous study, we reported that glutamate-induced NHE-1 phosphorylation mediated by activation of protein kinase C-β (PKC-β) in cultured neuron cells via extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK)/p90 ribosomal s6 kinases (p90RSK) pathway results in NHE-1 activation. However, whether glutamate stimulates NHE-1 activity solely by the allosteric mechanism remains elusive. Cultured primary cortical neuronal cells were subjected to intracellular acidosis by exposure to 100 μM glutamate or 20 mM NH4Cl. After the desired duration of intracellular acidosis, the phosphorylation and activation of PKC-β, ERK1/2 and p90RSK were determined by Western blotting. We investigated whether the duration of intracellular acidosis is controlled by glutamate exposure time. The NHE-1 activation increased while intracellular acidosis sustained for >3 min. To determine if sustained intracellular acidosis induced NHE-1 phosphorylation, we examined phosphorylation of NHE-1 induced by intracellular acidosis by transient exposure to NH4Cl. Sustained intracellular acidosis led to activation and phosphorylation of NHE-1. In addition, sustained intracellular acidosis also activated the PKC-β, ERK1/2, and p90RSK in neuronal cells. We conclude that glutamate stimulates NHE-1 activity through sustained intracellular acidosis, which mediates NHE-1 phosphorylation regulated by PKC-β/ERK1/2/p90RSK pathway in neuronal cells.
Keywords: Glutamate, Na+/H+ exchanger-1, Sustained acidosis, Cortical neurons, Protein kinase C-β, Extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2


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