Biochimica et biophysica acta

Characterization of the ion transport activity of the budding yeast Na+/H+ antiporter, Nha1p, using isolated secretory vesicles.

PMID 15950597


The Saccharomyces cerevisiae Nha1p, a plasma membrane protein belonging to the monovalent cation/proton antiporter family, plays a key role in the salt tolerance and pH regulation of cells. We examined the molecular function of Nha1p by using secretory vesicles isolated from a temperature sensitive secretory mutant, sec4-2, in vitro. The isolated secretory vesicles contained newly synthesized Nha1p en route to the plasma membrane and showed antiporter activity exchanging H+ for monovalent alkali metal cations. An amino acid substitution in Nha1p (D266N, Asp-266 to Asn) almost completely abolished the Na+/H+ but not K+/H+ antiport activity, confirming the validity of this assay system as well as the functional importance of Asp-266, especially for selectivity of substrate cations. Nha1p catalyzes transport of Na+ and K+ with similar affinity (12.7 mM and 12.4 mM), and with lower affinity for Rb+ and Li+. Nha1p activity is associated with a net charge movement across the membrane, transporting more protons per single sodium ion (i.e., electrogenic). This feature is similar to the bacterial Na+/H+ antiporters, whereas other known eukaryotic Na+/H+ antiporters are electroneutral. The ion selectivity and the stoichiometry suggest a unique physiological role of Nha1p which is distinct from that of other known Na+/H+ antiporters.