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cAMP Stimulates SLC26A3 Activity in Human Colon by a CFTR-Dependent Mechanism That Does Not Require CFTR Activity.

  • Author(s): Tse, Chung-Ming;
  • Yin, Jianyi;
  • Singh, Varsha;
  • Sarker, Rafiquel;
  • Lin, Ruxian;
  • Verkman, Alan S;
  • Turner, Jerrold R;
  • Donowitz, Mark
  • et al.

Background & aims

SLC26A3 (DRA) is an electroneutral Cl-/HCO3- exchanger that is present in the apical domain of multiple intestinal segments. An area that has continued to be poorly understood is related to DRA regulation in acute adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP)-related diarrheas, in which DRA appears to be both inhibited as part of NaCl absorption and stimulated to contribute to increased HCO3- secretion. Different cell models expressing DRA have shown that cAMP inhibits, stimulates, or does not affect its activity.


This study re-evaluated cAMP regulation of DRA using new tools, including a successful knockout cell model, a specific DRA inhibitor (DRAinh-A250), specific antibodies, and a transport assay that did not rely on nonspecific inhibitors. The studies compared DRA regulation in colonoids made from normal human colon with regulation in the colon cancer cell line, Caco-2.


DRA is an apical protein in human proximal colon, differentiated colonoid monolayers, and Caco-2 cells. It is glycosylated and appears as 2 bands. cAMP (forskolin) acutely stimulated DRA activity in human colonoids and Caco-2 cells. In these cells, DRA is the predominant apical Cl-/HCO3- exchanger and is inhibited by DRAinh-A250 with a median inhibitory concentration of 0.5 and 0.2 μmol/L, respectively. However, there was no effect of cAMP in HEK293/DRA cells that lacked a cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). When CFTR was expressed in HEK293/DRA cells, cAMP also stimulated DRA activity. In all cases, cAMP stimulation of DRA was not inhibited by CFTRinh-172.


DRA is acutely stimulated by cAMP by a process that is CFTR-dependent, but appears to be one of multiple regulatory effects of CFTR that does not require CFTR activity.

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