Adenosine is an autacoid that regulates renal Na(+) transport. Activation of adenosine A(1) receptor (A(1)R) by N(6)-cyclopentidyladenosine (CPA) inhibits the Na(+)/H(+) exchanger 3 (NHE3) via phospholipase C/Ca(2+)/protein kinase C (PKC) signaling pathway. Mutation of PKC phosphorylation sites on NHE3 does not affected regulation of NHE3 by CPA, but amino acid residues 462 and 552 are essential for A(1)R-dependent control of NHE3 activity. One binding partner of the NHE family is calcineurin homologous protein (CHP). We tested the role of NHE3-CHP interaction in mediating CPA-induced inhibition of NHE3 in opossum kidney (OK) and Xenopus laevis uroepithelial (A6) cells. Both native and transfected NHE3 and CHP are present in the same immuno-complex by co-immunoprecipitation. CPA (10(-6) M) increases CHP-NHE3 interaction by 30 - 60% (native and transfected proteins). Direct CHP-NHE3 interaction is evident by yeast two-hybrid assay (bait, NHE3(C terminus); prey, CHP); the minimal interacting region is localized to the juxtamembrane region of NHE3(C terminus) (amino acids 462-552 of opossum NHE3). The yeast data were confirmed in OK cells where truncated NHE3 (NHE3(delta552)) still shows CPA-stimulated CHP interaction. Overexpression of the polypeptide from the CHP binding region (NHE3(462-552)) interferes with the ability of CPA to inhibit NHE3 activity and to increase CHPNHE3(Full-length) interaction. Reduction of native CHP expression by small interference RNA abolishes the ability of CPA to inhibit NHE3 activity. We conclude that CHPNHE3 interaction is regulated by A(1)R activation and this interaction is a necessary and integral part of the signaling pathway between adenosine and NHE3.