The Na/K-ATPase-mediated signal transduction as a target for new drug development.

Department of Pharmacology and Medicine, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, OH 43614, USA.
Frontiers in Bioscience (Impact Factor: 4.25). 02/2005; 10:3100-9. DOI: 10.2741/1766
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Na/K-ATPase, or Na+ pump, is a member of the P-type ATPase superfamily. In addition to pumping ions, the Na/K-ATPase is a receptor that not only regulates the function of protein kinases, but also acts as a scaffold, capable of tethering different proteins into a signalplex. The signaling Na/K-ATPase resides in caveolae and forms a "binary receptor" with the tyrosine kinase Src. Endogenous cardiotonic steroids and digitalis drugs such as ouabain act as agonists and provoke this binary receptor, resulting in tyrosine phosphorylation of the proteins that are either associated with, or in close proximity to, the signaling Na/K-ATPase. Subsequently, this initiates protein kinase cascades including ERKs and PKC isozymes. It also increases mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and regulates intracellular calcium concentration. Like other receptors, activation of the Na/K-ATPase/Src by ouabain induces the endocytosis of the plasma membrane Na/K-ATPase. Significantly, this newly appreciated signaling function of the Na/K-ATPase appears to play an important role in the pathogenesis of many cardiovascular diseases, therefore serving as an important target for development of novel therapeutic agents.

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