An immunoreactive form of the anion channel protein of erythrocytes, band 3, has been identified in the rat kidney. It is found in the intercalated cells of the distal tubule and collecting ducts. Immunostaining specific for band 3 is confined to the basolateral plasma membrane of these cells, where this protein probably mediates the transport of bicarbonate across the tubular wall. Double-immunolabeling studies demonstrate that band 3 is colocalized with immunoreactive forms of ankyrin and spectrin along the basolateral plasma membrane. The polarized distribution of band 3 may be the result of the association of its cytoplasmic domain with ankyrin, which in turn links band 3 to spectrin and the cytoskeleton. These observations help to explain how the collecting ducts of the kidney can direct the transport of bicarbonate ions, thus maintaining the acid-base balance.
Animals • Anion Exchange Protein 1, Erythrocyte • Ankyrins • Bicarbonates • Cell Membrane • Fluorescent Antibody Technique • Immunosorbent Techniques • Kidney • Kidney Tubules, Collecting • Kidney Tubules, Distal • Macromolecular Substances • Membrane Proteins • Molecular Weight • Rats • Spectrin • metabolism • metabolism* • ultrastructure • ultrastructure*