To probe the mechanism by which intracellular ATP, Na+, and Cl- influence the activity of the NaK2Cl cotransporter, we measured bumetanide-sensitive (BS) 86Rb fluxes in the osteosarcoma cell line UMR-106-01. Under physiological gradients of Na+, K+, and Cl-, depleting cellular ATP by incubation with deoxyglucose and antimycin A (DOG/AA) for 20 min at 37 degrees C reduced BS 86Rb uptake from 6 to 1 nmol/mg protein per min. Similar incubation with 0.5 mM ouabain to inhibit the Na+ pump had no effect on the uptake, excluding the possibility that DOG/AA inhibited the uptake by modifying the cellular Na+ and K+ gradients. Loading the cells with Na+ and depleting them of K+ by a 2-3-h incubation with ouabain or DOG/AA increased the rate of BS 86Rb uptake to approximately 12 nmol/mg protein per min. The unidirectional BS 86Rb influx into control cells was approximately 10 times faster than the unidirectional BS 86Rb efflux. On the other hand, at steady state the unidirectional BS 86Rb influx and efflux in ouabain-treated cells were similar, suggesting that most of the BS 86Rb uptake into the ouabain-treated cells is due to K+/K+ exchange. The entire BS 86Rb uptake into ouabain-treated cells was insensitive to depletion of cellular ATP. However, the influx could be converted to ATP-sensitive influx by reducing cellular Cl- and/or Na+ in ouabain-treated cells to impose conditions for net uptake of the ions. The BS 86Rb uptake in ouabain-treated cells required the presence of Na+, K+, and Cl- in the extracellular medium. Thus, loading the cells with Na+ induced rapid 86Rb (K+) influx and efflux which, unlike net uptake, were insensitive to cellular ATP. Therefore, we suggest that ATP regulates a step in the turnover cycle of the cotransporter that is required for net but not K+/K+ exchange fluxes. Depleting control cells of Cl- increased BS 86Rb uptake from medium-containing physiological Na+ and K+ concentrations from 6 to approximately 15 nmol/mg protein per min. The uptake was blocked by depletion of cellular ATP with DOG/AA and required the presence of all three ions in the external medium. Thus, intracellular Cl- appears to influence net uptake by the cotransporter. Depletion of intracellular Na+ was as effective as depletion of Cl- in stimulating BS 86Rb uptake.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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