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Wednesday 01 February 2006

ENaC proteins are required for NGF-induced neurite growth.

By: Drummond HA, Furtado MM, Myers S, Grifoni S, Parker KA, Hoover A, Stec DE.

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2006 Feb;290(2):C404-10

Neurite growth is required for nervous system development and repair. Multiple signals, including neurotrophic factors and intact mechanosensing mechanisms, interact to regulate neurite growth. Degenerin/epithelial Na(+) channel (DEG/ENaC) proteins have been identified as putative mechanosensors in sensory neurons. Recently, others have shown that the neurotrophic factor NGF stimulates expression of acid-sensing ion channel molecules, which are members of the DEG/ENaC family. However, it is unknown whether NGF regulates ENaC expression or whether ENaC expression is required for neurite formation. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to determine whether ENaC expression is 1) regulated by NGF and 2) required for NGF-induced neurite growth in pheochromocytoma PC-12 cells. We found NGF-induced expression of beta- and gamma-subunits of ENaC, but not alpha-ENaC. Tyrosine kinase A (TrkA) receptor blockade abolished NGF-induced beta- and gamma-ENaC expression and neurite formation. NGF-induced neurite formation was inhibited by disruption of ENaC expression using 1) pharmacological blockade with benzamil, a specific ENaC inhibitor; 2) small interfering RNA; and 3) dominant-negative ENaC molecules. These data indicate NGF-TrkA regulation of ENaC expression may be required for neurite growth and may suggest a novel role for DEG/ENaC proteins in neuronal remodeling and differentiation.

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