The γ subunit of the Na,K-ATPase is a hydrophobic protein of approximately 10 kDa. The γ subunit was expressed in Sf-9 insect cells and Xenopus oocytes to ascertain its role in Na,K-ATPase function. Immunoblotting has shown that the γ subunit is expressed in Sf-9 cells infected with recombinant baculovirus containing the cDNA for the human γ subunit. Confocal microscopy demonstrates that the γ subunit can be delivered to the plasma membrane of Sf-9 cells independently of the other Na,K-ATPase subunits and that γ colocalizes with α1 when these proteins are coexpressed. When Sf-9 cells were coinfected with α1 and γ, antibodies to the γ subunit were able to coimmunoprecipitate the α subunit, suggesting that γ is able to associate with α1. The γ subunit is a member of a family of single-pass transmembrane proteins that induces ion fluxes in Xenopus oocytes. Evidence that the γ subunit is a functional component was supported by experiments showing γ-induced cation channel activity when expressed in oocytes and increases in Na+ and K+ uptake when expressed in Sf-9 cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6521-6525
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 26 1998


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