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T Tubules and Surface Membranes Provide Equally Effective Pathways of Carbonic Anhydrase-Facilitated Lactic Acid Transport in Skeletal Muscle

Public Library of Science
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015137
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Anatomy And Physiology
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Muscle
  • Muscle Functions
  • Biochemistry
  • Cytochemistry
  • Cell Membrane
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Metabolism
  • Biological Transport
  • Proteins
  • Transmembrane Transport Proteins
  • Medicine
  • Muscle Biochemistry
  • Electrophysiology
  • Chemistry


We have studied lactic acid transport in the fast mouse extensor digitorum longus muscles (EDL) by intracellular and cell surface pH microelectrodes. The role of membrane-bound carbonic anhydrases (CA) of EDL in lactic acid transport was investigated by measuring lactate flux in muscles from wildtype, CAIV-, CAIX- and CAXIV-single ko, CAIV-CAXIV double ko and CAIV–CAIX–CAXIV-triple ko mice. This was complemented by immunocytochemical studies of the subcellular localization of CAIV, CAIX and CAXIV in mouse EDL. We find that CAXIV and CAIX single ko EDL exhibit markedly but not maximally reduced lactate fluxes, whereas triple ko and double ko EDL show maximal or near-maximal inhibition of CA-dependent lactate flux. Interpretation of the flux measurements in the light of the immunocytochemical results leads to the following conclusions. CAXIV, which is homogeneously distributed across the surface membrane of EDL fibers, facilitates lactic acid transport across this membrane. CAIX, which is associated only with T tubular membranes, facilitates lactic acid transport across the T tubule membrane. The removal of lactic acid from the lumen of T tubuli towards the interstitial space involves a CO2-HCO3- diffusional shuttle that is maintained cooperatively by CAIX within the T tubule and, besides CAXIV, by the CAIV, which is strategically located at the opening of the T tubules. The data suggest that about half the CA-dependent muscular lactate flux occurs across the surface membrane, while the other half occurs across the membranes of the T tubuli.

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