A sodium-hydrogen exchange system in isolated apical membrane from LLC-PK1 epithelia

A. Moran, J. Biber, H. Murer


We have monitored transmembrane pH gradients using acridine orange fluorescence quenching and traced Na+ flux to study the properties of Na+-H+ exchange in apical membrane vesicles isolated from LLC-PK1 epithelia. The membranes have low conductance for Na+, H+, and K+ ions. An outwardly directed K+ gradient in the presence of valinomycin and carbonyl cyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenyl hydrazone produced intravesicular acidification. This pH gradient was collapsed by addition of extravesicular Na+ or Li+ ions but not by tetramethylammonium. Amiloride (10(-4) M) inhibited the effect of both Na+ and Li+ . An outwardly directed Na+ gradient stimulated H+ influx, which was also inhibited by 10(-4) M amiloride. Membrane short-circuit conditions affected neither Na+ nor H+ flux, consistent with transport mediated by an electroneutral process. The interaction of amiloride and sodium is consistent with noncompetitive inhibition with Ki = 100+/- 10 microM for amiloride and an apparent Km for Na+ of approximately 20 mM. This finding is in agreement with previous studies of intact LLC-PK1 epithelia but differs from observations in brush-border membrane vesicles isolated from kidney proximal tubule in which competitive and mixed inhibition have been reported. These observed differences can be reconciled if two types of Na+-H+ exchange systems exist along the nephron, one with competitive and the other with noncompetitive inhibition, and if only the latter is expressed in the homogeneous cultured cells.