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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

versión impresa ISSN 0025-7680


GALIZIA, Luciano; OJEA, Alejandro  y  KOTSIAS, Basilio A.. Amiloride sensitive sodium channels (ENaC) and their regulation by proteases. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2011, vol.71, n.2, pp.179-182. ISSN 0025-7680.

ENaC is a channel that mediates entry of Na+ from the luminal fluid into the cells in many reabsorbing epithelia and it is also expressed in human placenta. ENaC is crucial in the control of electrolyte and extracellular volume homeostasis. ENaC is regulated by several hormones, including aldosterone and blocked by amiloride and its analogs. ENaC channels are composed by three homologous subunits, α, β and γ that form the pore where Na ions are transported. Two factors regulate the activity of ENaC channels: 1) the number of channels inserted in the membrane and 2) the open probability of the channels or time that the channel is open. The number of channels is the result of a balance between the synthesis and degradation of ENaC channels. The open probability depends on the proteolysis of specific segments in the α and γ subunits of ENaC by multiple proteases inside of the cell or in the extracellular space. Among the most studied proteases are furin, prostasin, elastase, plasmin and trypsin. There are endogenous substances that block the activity of these proteases such as aprotinin, bikunin and nexin-1 and the expression of both, proteases and their inhibitors are controlled by the rate of Na+ movement, aldosterone and TFG-β levels. In this work we present some examples of this regulation and the potential role that this process may play under normal and pathological conditions such as cystic fibrosis, kidney diseases and hypertension.

Palabras clave : ENaC; Regulation; Aldosterone; Proteases; Inhibitors of proteases.

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