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FXYD proteins are a family of seven small regulatory proteins, expressed in a tissue-specific manner, that associate with Na,K-ATPase as subsidiary subunits and modulate kinetic properties. This study describes an additional property of FXYD proteins as stabilizers of Na,K-ATPase. FXYD1 (phospholemman), FXYD2 (γ subunit), and FXYD4 (CHIF) have been expressed in Escherichia coli and purified. These FXYD proteins associate spontaneously in vitro with detergent-soluble purified recombinant human Na,K-ATPase (α1β1) to form α1β1FXYD complexes. Compared with the control (α1β1), all three FXYD proteins strongly protect Na,K-ATPase activity against inactivation by heating or excess detergent (C(12)E(8)), with effectiveness FXYD1 > FXYD2FXYD4. Heating also inactivates E(1) ↔ E(2) conformational changes and cation occlusion, and FXYD1 protects strongly. Incubation of α1β1 or α1β1FXYD complexes with guanidinium chloride (up to 6 m) causes protein unfolding, detected by changes in protein fluorescence, but FXYD proteins do not protect. Thus, general protein denaturation is not the cause of thermally mediated or detergent-mediated inactivation. By contrast, the experiments show that displacement of specifically bound phosphatidylserine is the primary cause of thermally mediated or detergent-mediated inactivation, and FXYD proteins stabilize phosphatidylserine-Na,K-ATPase interactions. Phosphatidylserine probably binds near trans-membrane segments M9 of the α subunit and the FXYD protein, which are in proximity. FXYD1, FXYD2, and FXYD4 co-expressed in HeLa cells with rat α1 protect strongly against thermal inactivation. Stabilization of Na,K-ATPase by three FXYD proteins in a mammalian cell membrane, as well the purified recombinant Na,K-ATPase, suggests that stabilization is a general property of FXYD proteins, consistent with a significant biological function.


Neeraj Kumar Mishra, Yoav Peleg, Erica Cirri, Talya Belogus, Yael Lifshitz, Dennis R Voelker, Hans-Juergen Apell, Haim Garty, Steven J D Karlish. FXYD proteins stabilize Na,K-ATPase: amplification of specific phosphatidylserine-protein interactions. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2011 Mar 18;286(11):9699-712

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PMID: 21228272

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