NM23 proteins NDPK-A and -B bind to the cystic fibrosis (CF) protein CFTR in different ways from kinases such as PKA, CK2 and AMPK or linkers to cell calcium such as calmodulin and annexins. NDPK-A (not -B) interacts with CFTR through reciprocal AMPK binding/control, whereas NDPK-B (not -A) binds directly to CFTR. NDPK-B can activate G proteins without ligand–receptor coupling, so perhaps NDPK-B’s binding influences energy supply local to a nucleotide-binding site (NBD1) needed for CFTR to function. Curiously, CFTR (ABC-C7) is a member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) protein family that does not obey ‘clan rules’; CFTR channels anions and is not a pump, regulates disparate processes, is itself regulated by multiple means and is so pleiotropic that it acts as a hub that orchestrates calcium signaling through its consorts such as calmodulin/annexins. Furthermore, its multiple partners make CFTR dance to different tunes in different cellular and subcellular locations as it recycles from the plasma membrane to endosomes. CFTR function in airway apical membranes is inhibited by smoking which has been dubbed ‘acquired CF’. CFTR alone among family members possesses a trap for other proteins that it unfurls as a ‘fish-net’ and which bears consensus phosphorylation sites for many protein kinases, with PKA being the most canonical. Recently, the site of CFTR’s commonest mutation has been proposed as a knock-in mutant that alters allosteric control of kinase CK2 by log orders of activity towards calmodulin and other substrates after CFTR fragmentation. This link from CK2 to calmodulin that binds the R region invokes molecular paths that control lumen formation, which is incomplete in the tracheas of some CF-affected babies. Thus, we are poised to understand the many roles of NDPK-A and -B in CFTR function and, especially lumen formation, which is defective in the gut and lungs of many CF babies.
- Necleoside diphosphate kinase
- Chloride channel
- Protein kinases
- Protein phosphorylation