Expression of the avian Na,K-ATPase subunits in Dictyostelium discoideum

X. Zhou, D. M. Fambrough*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This study explored whether Dictyostelium discoideum can be used to express the avian Na,K-ATPase, a heterodimeric membrane protein. Dictyostelium was able to express mRNAs encoding the avian Na,K-ATPase subunits. However, Dictyostelium expressed avian Na,K-ATPase protein when only when a Dictyostelium consensus ribosomal binding sequence, AAAATAAA, was inserted in front of the open reading frames of the α1- and β1-subunit cDNAs and the first eight codons following the start-translation codons were changed to Dictyostelium preferred codons. These modified mRNAs appeared to be much less stable than the forms that were not readily translated. Dictyostelium could express the avian β-subunit alone but only expressed the α1-subunit when the β1-subunit was co-expressed. Subunit assembly occurred in cells expressing both α1- and β1-subunits. The bulk of the exogenously expressed sodium pump subunits remained in an intracellular compartment, presumed to be the endoplasmic reticulum. Dictyostelium exported little or no Na,K-ATPase or free β-subunit to the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Membrane Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


  • Codon usage
  • Dictyostelium
  • Expression systems
  • Membrane proteins
  • mRNA turnover
  • Na,K-ATPase
  • Slime mold


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