NYMC Faculty Publications

Role of Inwardly Rectifying K+ Channel 5.1 (Kir5.1) in the Regulation of Renal Membrane Transport

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Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension

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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Kir5.1 interacts with Kir4.2 in proximal tubule and with Kir4.1 in distal convoluted tubule (DCT), connecting tubule (CNT) and cortical collecting duct (CCD) to form basolateral-K+-channels. Kir4.2/Kir5.1 and Kir4.1/Kir5.1 play an important role in regulating Na+/HCO3--transport of the proximal tubule and Na+/K+ -transport in the DCT/CNT/CCD. The main focus of this review is to provide an overview of the recent development in the field regarding the role of Kir5.1 regulating renal electrolyte transport in the proximal tubule and DCT. RECENT FINDINGS: Loss-of-function-mutations of KCNJ16 cause a new form of tubulopathy, characterized by hypokalaemia, Na+-wasting, acid-base-imbalance and metabolic-acidosis. Abnormal bicarbonate transport induced by loss-of-function of KCNJ16-mutants is recapitulated in Kir4.2-knockout-(Kir4.2 KO) mice. Deletion of Kir5.1 also abolishes the effect of dietary Na+ and K+-intakes on the basolateral membrane voltage and NCC expression/activity. Long-term high-salt intake or high-K+-intake causes hyperkalaemic in Kir5.1-deficient mice. SUMMARY: Kir4.2/Kir5.1 activity in the proximal tubule plays a key role in regulating Na+, K+ and bicarbonate-transport through regulating electrogenic-Na+-bicarbonate-cotransporter-(NBCe1) and type 3-Na+/H+-exchanger-(NHE3). Kir4.1/Kir5.1 activity of the DCT plays a critical role in mediating the effect of dietary-K+ and Na+-intakes on NCC activity/expression. As NCC determines the Na+ delivery rate to the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron (ASDN), defective regulation of NCC during high-salt and high-K+ compromises renal K+ excretion and K+ homeostasis.