Extracellular proton-secreting transport systems that contribute to extracellular pH include the Vacuolar H+-ATPase (V-ATPase). This pump, which mediates ATP-driven transport of H+ across membranes, is involved in metastasis. We previously showed that V-ATPase A subunit phosphorylation at Ser-175 is important for PKA-induced V-ATPase activity at the membrane of kidney intercalated cells. However, Ser-175 is also located within a larger phosphorylation consensus sequence for Aurora kinases, which are known to phosphorylate proteins that contribute to the pathogenesis of metastatic carcinomas. We thus hypothesized that Aurora kinase A (AURKA), overexpressed in aggressive carcinomas, regulates the V-ATPase in human kidney carcinoma cells (Caki-2) via Ser-175 phosphorylation. We found that AURKA is abnormally expressed in Caki-2 cells, where it binds the V-ATPase A subunit in an AURKA phosphorylation-dependent manner. Treatment with the AURKA activator anacardic acid increased V-ATPase expression and activity at the plasma membrane of Caki-2 cells. In addition, AURKA phosphorylates the V-ATPase A subunit at Ser-175 in vitro and in Caki-2 cells. Immunolabeling revealed that anacardic acid induced marked membrane accumulation of the V-ATPase A subunit in transfected Caki-2 cells. However, anacardic acid failed to induce membrane accumulation of a phosphorylation-deficient Ser-175-to-Ala (S175A) A subunit mutant. Finally, S175A-expressing cells had decreased migration in a wound-healing assay as compared to cells expressing wild-type or a phospho-mimetic Ser-175-to-Asp (S175D) mutant A subunit. We conclude that AURKA activates the V-ATPase in kidney carcinoma cells via phosphorylation of Ser-175 in the V-ATPase A subunit. This regulation contributes to kidney carcinoma V-ATPase-mediated extracellular acidification and cell migration.
- proton pump
- pH regulation
- epithelial cell
- plasma membrane
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology