Glycoforms of UT-A3 urea transporter with poly-N-acetyllactosamine glycosylation have enhanced transport activity.

Citation:

Su H, Carter CB, Fröhlich O, Cummings RD, Chen G. Glycoforms of UT-A3 urea transporter with poly-N-acetyllactosamine glycosylation have enhanced transport activity. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2012;303 (2) :F201-8.

Date Published:

2012 Jul 15

Abstract:

Urea transporters UT-A1 and UT-A3 are both expressed in the kidney inner medulla. However, the function of UT-A3 remains unclear. Here, we found that UT-A3, which comprises only the NH(2)-terminal half of UT-A1, has a higher urea transport activity than UT-A1 in the oocyte and that this difference was associated with differences in N-glycosylation. Heterologously expressed UT-A3 is fully glycosylated with two glycoforms of 65 and 45 kDa. By contrast, UT-A1 expressed in HEK293 cells and oocytes exhibits only a 97-kDa glycosylation form. We further found that N-glycans of UT-A3 contain a large amount of poly-N-acetyllactosamine. This highly glycosylated UT-A3 is more stable and is enriched in lipid raft domains on the cell membrane. Kifunensine, an inhibitor of α-mannosidase that inhibits N-glycan processing beyond high-mannose-type N-glycans, significantly reduced UT-A3 urea transport activity. We then examined the native UT-A1 and UT-A3 glycosylation states from kidney inner medulla and found the ratio of 65 to 45 kDa in UT-A3 is higher than that of 117 to 97 kDa in UT-A1. The highly stable expression of highly glycosylated UT-A3 on the cell membrane in kidney inner medulla suggests that UT-A3 may have an important function in urea reabsorption.