The urea channel UT-A1 and the water channel aquaporin-2 (AQP2) mediate vasopressin-regulated transport in the renal inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD). To identify the proteins that interact with UT-A1 and AQP2 in native rat IMCD cells, we carried out chemical cross-linking followed by detergent solubilization, immunoprecipitation, and LC-MS/MS analysis of the immunoprecipitated material. The analyses revealed 133 UT-A1-interacting proteins and 139 AQP2-interacting proteins, each identified in multiple replicates. Fifty-three proteins that were present in both the UT-A1 and the AQP2 interactomes can be considered as mediators of housekeeping interactions, likely common to all plasma membrane proteins. Among proteins unique to the UT-A1 list were those involved in posttranslational modifications: phosphorylation (protein kinases Cdc42bpb, Phkb, Camk2d, and Mtor), ubiquitylation/deubiquitylation (Uba1, Usp9x), and neddylation (Nae1 and Uba3). Among the proteins unique to the AQP2 list were several Rab proteins (Rab1a, Rab2a, Rab5b, Rab5c, Rab7a, Rab11a, Rab11b, Rab14, Rab17) involved in membrane trafficking. UT-A1 was found to interact with UT-A3, although quantitative proteomics revealed that most UT-A1 molecules in the cell are not bound to UT-A3. In vitro incubation of UT-A1 peptides with the protein kinases identified in the UT-A1 interactome revealed that all except Mtor were capable of phosphorylating known sites in UT-A1. Overall, the UT-A1 and AQP2 interactomes provide a snapshot of a dynamic process in which UT-A1 and AQP2 are produced in the rough endoplasmic reticulum, processed through the Golgi apparatus, delivered to endosomes that move into and out of the plasma membrane, and are regulated in the plasma membrane.
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