The Na+/H+-exchanger 1, NHE1 (SLC9A1) and the electroneutral Na+,HCO3 --cotransporter NBCn1 (SLC4A7) are coexpressed in a wide range of tissues. Under normal physiological conditions these transporters play an ostensibly similar role, namely that of net acid extrusion after cellular acidification. In addition, they have been implicated in multiple other cellular processes, including regulation of transepithelial transport, cell volume, cell death/survival balance, and cell motility. In spite of their apparent functional similarity, the two transporters also serve distinctly different functions and are differentially regulated. Here, we provide an update on the basic structure, function, regulation, physiology and pharmacology of NHE1 and NBCn1, with particular focus on the factors responsible for their functional similarities and differences. Finally, we highlight recent findings implicating these transporters in cancer development, and discuss issues relating to NHE1 and NBCn1 as potential targets in cancer treatment.
Keywords: SLC9A1, SLC4A7, cancer, acidification, bicarbonate, EIPA, cariporide, DIDS, S0859, Na+/H+-exchanger 1
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