Very little is known about the cellular mechanisms controlling renal tubular amino acid transport. cAMP-dependent protein kinase (cAK) modulates the activity of several ion channels and pumps in biological membranes. The direct influence of cAK on transmembrane amino acid transport has not been investigated. We studied the effect the cAK-mediated phosphorylation on Na+- and Cl−-linked proline transport across the rat renal brush border membrane (BBM). cAK bioassay and Western hybridization analysis using cAK subunit-specific antibodies demonstrated the presence of the enzyme in the BBM. Brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV) were phosphorylated using the “hyposmotic shock” technique. cAMP, by activating endogenous cAK, and exogenous, highly purified catalytic subunit of cAK inhibited NaCl-dependent proline transport by phosphorylated, lysed/resealed BBMV compared with control vesicles. The cAK-mediated inhibition of proline uptake was completely abolished when phosphorylation at the cytoplasmic (inner side) of the membrane was prevented by isosmotic, rather than hyposmotic, phosphorylation. The cAK-induced inhibition of proline transport was reversed by the specific cAK inhibitor peptide, PKl. These data suggest that cAMP-dependent protein kinase-mediated phosphorylation modulates Na+- and Cl−-linked proline transport across the tubular luminal membrane.

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