Entry into the hypometabolic state of estivation requires a coordinated suppression of the rate of cellular ATP turnover, including both ATP-generating and ATP-consuming reactions. As one of the largest consumers of cellular ATP, the plasma membrane Na+/K+-ATPase is a potentially key target for regulation during estivation. Na+/K+-ATPase was investigated in foot muscle and hepatopancreas of the land snail Otala lactea, comparing active and estivating states. In both tissues enzyme properties changed significantly during estivation: maximal activity was reduced by about one-third, affinity for Mg.ATP was reduced (Km was 40% higher), and activation energy (derived from Arrhenius plots) was increased by ∼45%. Foot muscle Na+/K+-ATPase from estivated snails also showed an 80% increase in Km Na+ and a 60% increase in Ka Mg2+ as compared with active snails, whereas hepatopancreas Na+/K+-ATPase showed a 70% increase in I50 K+ during estivation. Western blotting with antibodies recognizing the alpha subunit of Na+/K+-ATPase showed no change in the amount of enzyme protein during estivation. Instead, the estivation-responsive change in Na+/K+-ATPase activity was linked to posttranslational modification. In vitro incubations manipulating endogenous kinase and phosphatase activities indicated that Na+/K+-ATPase from estivating snails was a high phosphate, low activity form, whereas dephosphorylation returned the enzyme to a high activity state characteristic of active snails. Treatment with protein kinases A, C or G could all mediate changes in enzyme properties in vitro that mimicked the effect of estivation, whereas treatments with protein phosphatase 1 or 2A had the opposite effect. Reversible phosphorylation control of Na+/K+-ATPase can provide the means of coordinating ATP use by this ion pump with the rates of ATP generation by catabolic pathways in estivating snails.

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Journal of Experimental Biology
Department of Biology

Ramnanan, C.J. (Christopher J.), & Storey, K. (2006). Suppression of Na+/K+-ATPase activity during estivation in the land snail Otala lactea. Journal of Experimental Biology, 209(4), 677–688. doi:10.1242/jeb.02052