Cotransport of water by Na¿-K¿-2Cl¿ cotransporters expressed in Xenopus oocytes: NKCC1 versus NKCC2

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The NKCC1 and NKCC2 isoforms of the mammalian Na¿–K¿–2Cl¿ cotransporter were expressed in Xenopus oocytes and the relation between external ion concentration and water fluxes determined.Water fluxes were determined from changes in the oocytes volume and ion fluxes from 86Rb+ uptake. Isotonic increases in external K¿ concentration elicited abrupt inward water fluxes in NKCC1; the K¿ dependence obeyed one-site kinetics with a K0.5 of 7.5 mM. The water fluxes were blocked by bumetanide, had steep temperature dependence and could proceed uphill against an osmotic gradient of 20 mosmol l¿¹. A comparison between ion and water fluxes indicates that 460 water molecules are cotransported for each turnover of the protein. In contrast, NKCC2 did not support water fluxes.Water transport in NKCC1 induced by increases in the external osmolarity had high activation energy and was blocked by bumetanide. The osmotic effects of NaCl were smaller than those of urea and mannitol. This supports the notion of interaction between ions and water in NKCC1 and allows for an estimate of around 600 water molecules transported per turnover of the protein. Osmotic gradients did not induce water transport in NKCC2. We conclude that NKCC1 plays a direct role for water balance in most cell types, while NKCC2 fulfils its role in the kidney of transporting ions but not water. The different behaviour of NKCC1 and NKCC2 is discussed on the basis of recent molecular models based on studies of structural and molecular dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue numberPt 5
Pages (from-to)1139-54
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012

ID: 38063178