Cytoplasmic targeting signals mediate delivery of phospholemman to the plasma membrane

Kristan L. Lansbery, Lauren C. Burcea, Margaretta L. Mendenhall, Robert W. Mercer

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23 Scopus citations


The FXYD protein family consists of several small, single-span membrane proteins that exhibit a high degree of homology. The best-known members of the family include the γ-subunit of the Na+-K+-ATPase and phospholemman (PLM), a phosphoprotein of cardiac sarcolemma. Other members of the family include corticosteroid hormone-induced factor (CHIF), mammary tumor protein of 8 kDa (Mat-8), and related to ion channels (RIC). The exact physiological roles of the FXYD proteins remain unknown. To better characterize the function of the members of the FXYD protein family, we expressed several members of the family in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. All of the FXYD proteins, with the exception of PLM, were primarily found in the basolateral plasma membrane. Surprisingly, PLM, a previously characterized plasma membrane protein, was found to colocalize with the endoplasmic reticulum marker protein disulfide isomerase. Treatment of MDCK cells expressing PLM with an agonist of PKC caused some of the PLM to be redistributed to the plasma membrane. Site-directed mutagenesis of residues within the cytoplasmic domain of PLM indicated that a negative charge at Ser69 is necessary to shift the localization of PLM to the plasma membrane. In addition, other regions of PLM necessary for either its endoplasmic reticulum or plasma membrane localization have been elucidated. In contrast to PLM, the plasma membrane localization of CHIF and RIC was not altered by mutation of potential cytoplasmic phosphorylation sites. Overall, these results suggest that phosphorylation of specific residues of PLM may direct PLM from an intracellular compartment to the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C1275-C1286
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006


  • FXYD proteins
  • Protein trafficking


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