Posttranscriptional compensation for heterozygous disruption of the kidney-specific NaK2Cl cotransporter gene

Nobuyuki Takahashi, Heddwen L. Brooks, James B. Wade, Wen Liu, Yoshiaki Kondo, Sadayoshi Ito, Mark A. Knepper, Oliver Smithies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Mice homozygous for a loss of function mutation of the kidney-specific NaK2Cl cotransporter, BSC1/NKCC2, do not survive. Here the effects of loss of one copy of the gene are studied. NKCC2 mRNA of NKCC2 +/- kidney was 55 ± 6% of +/+, yet no differences were found between NKCC2 +/+ and +/- mice in BP, blood gas, electrolytes, creatinine, plasma renin concentration, urine volume and osmolality, ability to concentrate and dilute urine, and response to furosemide. When mice were challenged with 180 mM NH4Cl, plasma ammonia and urinary ammonia excretion were increased twofold and fivefold, respectively, but there was still no difference between the two genotypes. NKCC2 +/- mice had a near-normal level of NKCC2 protein and no clear change in the distribution of NKCC2 in the thick ascending limb (TAL) cells. In vitro microperfusion of isolated TAL showed no significant difference between the two genotypes in the basal and vasopressin-stimulated capacity to reabsorb NaCl. There was no difference in the mRNA expressions of thiazide-sensitive NaCl cotransporter, epithelial Na channel (ENaC), aquaporin-2, ROMK, and NaKATPase. Halving the mRNA expression of NKCC2 does not affect BP or fluid balance because of compensatory factors that restore the protein level to near normal. One possible factor is a regulated increase in the movement of cytoplasmic protein to the luminal membrane leading to a restoration of functional transporter to an essentially wild type level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-610
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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