Arsenate substitutes for phosphate in the human red cell sodium pump and anion exchanger

L. J. Kenney, J. H. Kaplan

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50 Scopus citations


The sodium pump of human red blood cells mediates a Rb:Rb exchange that is dependent for maximal rates upon the simultaneous presence of intracellular ATP (or ADP) and phosphate. We have measured ouabain-sensitive 86Rb uptake into resealed ghosts of human red cells containing ADP and show that arsenate will substitute for phosphate in supporting the Rb:Rb exchange transport mode. The concentration dependence of arsenate-supported Rb:Rb exchange in ghosts containing 2 mM ADP shows both activating and inhibiting phases; the dependence upon phosphate shows similar characteristics. Elevation of the external [Rb] lowers the apparent affinity for arsenate since there is a shift to higher concentrations of arsenate in the activating and inhibiting phases of the arsenate concentration dependence curve. Similarly, elevation of [ADP] substantially reduces the inhibition of Rb:Rb exchange observed at higher [arsenate]. These effects are also observed in phosphate-supported Rb:Rb exchange. The phosphate requirement for Rb:Rb exchange involves phosphorylation of the sodium pump protein; the close agreement between the effects of arsenate and phosphate in supporting Rb:Rb exchange makes it likely that arsenylation of the sodium pump occurs during Rb:Rb exchange. Arsenate efflux from red blood cell ghosts into arsenate-free chloride medium is partially inhibited (77-80%) by DNDS (4,4'-dinitro-2,2'-stilbenedisulfonic acid), this compares with 82-87% inhibition by DNDS of phosphate efflux under the same conditions. It appears that Band III, the red cell anion transport system, accepts arsenate in a similar fashion to phosphate and that a fraction of the flux of both anions may occur through pathways other than Band III. Thus, in human red blood cells, both the sodium pump and the anion exchange transport system will accept arsenate as a phosphate congener and the protein-arsenate interactions are very similar to those with phosphate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7954-7960
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number17
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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