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NHE3 Regulatory Factor 1 (NHERF1) Modulates Intestinal Sodium-dependent Phosphate Transporter (NaPi-2b) Expression in Apical Microvilli*


P(i) uptake in the small intestine occurs predominantly through the NaPi-2b (SLC34a2) co-transporter. NaPi-2b is regulated by changes in dietary P(i) but the mechanisms underlying this regulation are largely undetermined. Sequence analyses show NaPi-2b has a PDZ binding motif at its C terminus. Immunofluorescence imaging shows NaPi-2b and two PDZ domain containing proteins, NHERF1 and PDZK1, are expressed in the apical microvillar domain of rat small intestine enterocytes. Co-immunoprecipitation studies in rat enterocytes show that NHERF1 associates with NaPi-2b but not PDZK1. In HEK co-expression studies, GFP-NaPi-2b co-precipitates with FLAG-NHERF1. This interaction is markedly diminished when the C-terminal four amino acids are truncated from NaPi-2b. FLIM-FRET analyses using tagged proteins in CACO-2(BBE) cells show a distinct phasor shift between NaPi-2b and NHERF1 but not between NaPi-2b and the PDZK1 pair. This shift demonstrates that NaPi-2b and NHERF1 reside within 10 nm of each other. NHERF1(-/-) mice, but not PDZK1(-/-) mice, had a diminished adaptation of NaPi-2b expression in response to a low P(i) diet. Together these studies demonstrate that NHERF1 associates with NaPi-2b in enterocytes and regulates NaPi-2b adaptation.

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