Acute regulation of the urea transporter mUT-A3 expressed in a MDCK cell line

Stewart GS, King SL, Potter EA, Smith CP
Source: Am J Physiol Renal Physiol
Publication Date: (2007)
Issue: 292(4): F1157-63
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
Species: canine
Tissue Origin: kidney
Nucleofector® I/II/2b
Renal facilitative urea transporters play a vital role in the urinary concentrating mechanism. UT-A3 is a phloretin-sensitive urea transporter that in the mouse is expressed on the basolateral membrane of renal inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) cells. In this study, we engineered a Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) I cell line that stably expresses mouse UT-A3 (MDCK-mUT-A3). Immunoblotting using the UT-A-targeted antibody ML446 detected a approximately 40-kDa signal in MDCK-mUT-A3 protein that corresponds to mUT-A3. Using cultured epithelial monolayers, radioactive (14)C-urea flux experiments determined that basolateral urea transport was no different between MDCK-mUT-A3 and control MDCK-FLZ cells under basal conditions [not significant (NS), ANOVA]. However, exposure to arginine vasopressin (AVP) significantly stimulated basolateral urea flux in MDCK-mUT-A3 monolayers (P < 0.05, ANOVA), while it had no effect in control MDCK-FLZ monolayers (NS, ANOVA). The AVP-stimulated basolateral urea transport in MDCK-mUT-A3 was inhibited by 1,3 dimethyl urea (P < 0.05, ANOVA) or phloretin (P < 0.05, ANOVA), both known inhibitors of facilitative urea transporters. MDCK-mUT-A3 basolateral urea flux was also stimulated by increasing intracellular levels of cAMP, via forskolin (P < 0.05, ANOVA), or intracellular calcium, via ATP (P < 0.05, ANOVA). Finally, 1-h preincubation with a specific PKA inhibitor, H89, significantly inhibited the increase in urea transport produced by AVP (P < 0.05, ANOVA). In conclusion, we have produced the first renal cell line to stably express the mUT-A3 urea transporter. Our results indicate that mUT-A3 is acutely regulated by AVP, via a PKA-dependent pathway. These findings have important implications for the regulation of urea transport in the renal IMCD and the urinary concentrating mechanism.