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Molecular mechanisms of acid-base sensing by the kidney


Brown, Dennis; Wagner, Carsten A (2012). Molecular mechanisms of acid-base sensing by the kidney. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), 23(5):774-780.

Abstract

A major function of the kidney is to collaborate with the respiratory system to maintain systemic acid-base status within limits compatible with normal cell and organ function. It achieves this by regulating the excretion and recovery of bicarbonate (mainly in the proximal tubule) and the secretion of buffered protons (mainly in the distal tubule and collecting duct). How proximal tubular cells and distal professional proton transporting (intercalated) cells sense and respond to changes in pH, bicarbonate, and CO(2) status is a question that has intrigued many generations of renal physiologists. Over the past few years, however, some candidate molecular pH sensors have been identified, including acid/alkali-sensing receptors (GPR4, InsR-RR), kinases (Pyk2, ErbB1/2), pH-sensitive ion channels (ASICs, TASK, ROMK), and the bicarbonate-stimulated adenylyl cyclase (sAC). Some acid-sensing mechanisms in other tissues, such as CAII-PDK2L1 in taste buds, might also have similar roles to play in the kidney. Finally, the function of a variety of additional membrane channels and transporters is altered by pH variations both within and outside the cell, and the expression of several metabolic enzymes are altered by acid-base status in parts of the nephron. Thus, it is possible that a master pH sensor will never be identified. Rather, the kidney seems equipped with a battery of molecules that scan the epithelial cell environment to mount a coordinated physiologic response that maintains acid-base homeostasis. This review collates current knowledge on renal acid-base sensing in the context of a whole organ sensing and response process.

A major function of the kidney is to collaborate with the respiratory system to maintain systemic acid-base status within limits compatible with normal cell and organ function. It achieves this by regulating the excretion and recovery of bicarbonate (mainly in the proximal tubule) and the secretion of buffered protons (mainly in the distal tubule and collecting duct). How proximal tubular cells and distal professional proton transporting (intercalated) cells sense and respond to changes in pH, bicarbonate, and CO(2) status is a question that has intrigued many generations of renal physiologists. Over the past few years, however, some candidate molecular pH sensors have been identified, including acid/alkali-sensing receptors (GPR4, InsR-RR), kinases (Pyk2, ErbB1/2), pH-sensitive ion channels (ASICs, TASK, ROMK), and the bicarbonate-stimulated adenylyl cyclase (sAC). Some acid-sensing mechanisms in other tissues, such as CAII-PDK2L1 in taste buds, might also have similar roles to play in the kidney. Finally, the function of a variety of additional membrane channels and transporters is altered by pH variations both within and outside the cell, and the expression of several metabolic enzymes are altered by acid-base status in parts of the nephron. Thus, it is possible that a master pH sensor will never be identified. Rather, the kidney seems equipped with a battery of molecules that scan the epithelial cell environment to mount a coordinated physiologic response that maintains acid-base homeostasis. This review collates current knowledge on renal acid-base sensing in the context of a whole organ sensing and response process.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Physiology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Physiology

04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:20 Sep 2012 12:53
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:57
Publisher:American Society of Nephrology
ISSN:1046-6673
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1681/ASN.2012010029
PubMed ID:22362904
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-64741

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