Regulation of Na,K-ATPase during acute lung injury

Emilia Lecuona, Humberto E. Trejo, Jacob I. Sznajder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A hallmark of acute lung injury is the accumulation of a protein rich edema which impairs gas exchange and leads to hypoxemia. The resolution of lung edema is effected by active sodium transport, mostly contributed by apical Na + channels and the basolateral located Na,K-ATPase. It has been reported that the decrease of Na,K-ATPase function seen during lung injury is due to its endocytosis from the cell plasma membrane into intracellular pools. In alveolar epithelial cells exposed to severe hypoxia, we have reported that increased production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species leads to Na,K-ATPase endocytosis and degradation. We found that this regulated process follows what is referred as the Phosphorylation-Ubiquitination-Recognition- Endocytosis-Degradation (PURED) pathway. Cells exposed to hypoxia generate reactive oxygen species which activate PKCζ which in turn phosphorylates the Na,K-ATPase at the Ser18 residue in the N-terminus of the α1-subunit leading the ubiquitination of any of the four lysines (K16, K17, K19, K20) adjacent to the Ser18 residue. This process promotes the α1-subunit recognition by the μ2 subunit of the adaptor protein-2 and its endocytosis trough a clathrin dependent mechanism. Finally, the ubiquitinated Na,K-ATPase undergoes degradation via a lysosome/proteasome dependent mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-395
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Acute lung injury
  • Alveolar epithelium
  • Na,K-ATPase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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