Functional characterization of the sodium/hydrogen exchanger 8 and its role in proliferation of colonic epithelial cells

Kunyan Zhou, Mahdi Amiri, Azam Salari, Yan Yu, Hua Xu, Ursula Seidler, Katerina Nikolovska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Intestinal NaCl, HCO, and fluid absorption are strongly dependent on apical Naþ/Hþ exchange. The intestine expresses three presumably apical sodium-hydrogen exchanger (NHE) isoforms: NHE2, NHE3, and NHE8. We addressed the role of NHE8 [solute carrier 9A8 (SLC9A8)] and its interplay with NHE2 (SLC9A2) in luminal proton extrusion during acute and chronic enterocyte acidosis and studied the differential effects of NHE8 and NHE2 on enterocyte proliferation. In contrast to NHE3, which was upregulated in differentiated versus undifferentiated colonoids, the expression of NHE2 and NHE8 remained constant during differentiation of colonoids and Caco2Bbe cells. Heterogeneously expressed Flag-tagged rat (r)Nhe8 and human (h)NHE8 trans-located to the apical membrane of Caco2Bbe cells. rNhe8 and hNHE8, when expressed in NHE-deficient PS120 fibroblasts showed higher sensitivity to HOE642 compared to NHE2. Lentiviral shRNA knockdown of endogenous NHE2 in Caco2Bbe cells (C2Bbe/shNHE2) resulted in a decreased steady-state intracellular pH (pHi), an increased NHE8 mRNA expression, and augmented NHE8-mediated apical NHE activity. Lentiviral shRNA knockdown of endogenous NHE8 in Caco2Bbe cells (C2Bbe/ shNHE8) resulted in a decreased steady-state pHi as well, accompanied by decreased NHE2 mRNA expression and activity, which together contributed to reduced apical NHE activity in the NHE8-knockdown cells. Chronic acidosis increased NHE8 but not NHE2 mRNA expression. Alterations in NHE2 and NHE8 expression/activity affected proliferation, with C2Bbe/shNHE2 cells having lower and C2Bbe/shNHE8 having higher proliferative capacity, accompanied by amplified ERK1/2 signaling pathway and increased EGFR expression in the latter cell line. Thus, both Naþ/Hþ exchangers have distinct functions during cellular homeostasis by triggering different signaling pathways to regulate cellular proliferation and pHi control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C471-C488
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Intestinal epithelium
  • Organoids
  • PH regulation
  • Sodium hydrogen exchangers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional characterization of the sodium/hydrogen exchanger 8 and its role in proliferation of colonic epithelial cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this