GGA1 interacts with the endosomal Na+/H+ Exchanger NHE6 governing localization to the endosome compartment

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Mutations in the endosomal Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE6) cause Christianson syndrome (CS), an X-linked neurological disorder. Previous studies have shown that NHE6 functions in regulation of endosome acidification and maturation in neurons. Using yeast two-hybrid screening with the NHE6 carboxyl-terminus as bait, we identify Golgi-associated, Gamma adaptin ear containing, ARF binding protein 1 (GGA1) as an interacting partner for NHE6. We corroborated the NHE6-GGA1 interaction using co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP): using over-expressed constructs in mammalian cells; and co-IP of endogenously-expressed GGA1 and NHE6 from neuroblastoma cells, as well as from mouse brain. We demonstrate that GGA1 interacts with organellar NHEs (NHE6, NHE7 and NHE9) but not with cell-surface localized NHEs (NHE1 and NHE5). By constructing hybrid NHE1/NHE6 exchangers, we demonstrate that the cytoplasmic tail of NHE6 is necessary and sufficient for interactions with GGA1. We demonstrate the co-localization of NHE6 and GGA1 in cultured, primary hippocampal neurons, using super-resolution microscopy. We test the hypothesis that the interaction of NHE6 and GGA1 functions in the localization of NHE6 to the endosome compartment. Using subcellular fractionation experiments, we show that NHE6 is mis-localized in GGA1 knockout cells wherein we find less NHE6 in endosomes but more NHE6 transport to lysosomes, and more Golgi retention of NHE6 with increased exocytosis to the surface plasma membrane. Consistent with NHE6 mis-localization, and Golgi retention, we find the intra-luminal pH in Golgi to be alkalinized. Our study demonstrates a new interaction between NHE6 and GGA1 which functions in the localization of this intra-cellular NHE to the endosome compartment.

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