Mechanism of action of novel lung edema therapeutic AP301 by activation of the epithelial sodium channel

Waheed Shabbir, Parastoo Scherbaum-Hazemi, Susan Tzotzos, Bernhard Fischer, Hendrik Fischer, Helmut Pietschmann, Rudolf Lucas, Rosa Lemmens-Gruber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


AP301 [Cyclo(CGQRETPEGAEAKPWYC)], a cyclic peptide comprising the human tumor necrosis factor lectin-like domain (TIP domain) sequence, is currently being developed as a treatment for lung edema and has been shown to reduce extravascular lung water and improve lung function in mouse, rat, and pig models. The current paradigm for liquid homeostasis in the adult mammalian lung is that passive apical uptake of sodium via the amiloride-sensitive epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) and nonselective cyclic-nucleotide-gated cation channels creates the major driving force for reabsorption of water through the alveolar epithelium in addition to other ion channels such as potassium and chloride channels. AP301 can increase amiloride-sensitive current in A549 cells as well as in freshly isolated type II alveolar epithelial cells from different species. ENaC is expressed endogenously in all of these cell types. Consequently, this study was undertaken to determine whether ENaC is the specific target of AP301. The effect of AP301 in A549 cells as well as in human embryonic kidney cells and Chinese hamster ovary cells heterologously expressing human ENaC subunits (α, β, γ, and δ) was measured in patch clamp experiments. The congener TIP peptide AP318 [Cyclo(4-aminobutanoic acid-GQRETPEGAEAKPWYD)] activated ENaC by increasing single-channel open probability. AP301 increased current in proteolytically activated (cleaved) but not near-silent (uncleaved) ENaC in a reversible manner. αβγ- or δβγ-ENaC coexpression was required for maximal activity. No increase in current was observed after deglycosylation of extracellular domains of ENaC. Thus, our data suggest that the specific interaction of AP301 with both endogenously and heterologously expressed ENaC requires precedent binding to glycosylated extracellular loop(s).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)899-910
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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