Potassium Activates Mtorc2-Dependent SGK1 Phosphorylation to Stimulate Epithelial Sodium Channel: Role in Rapid Renal Responses to Dietary Potassium
SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Rapid renal responses to ingested potassium are essential to prevent hyperkalemia and also play a central role in blood pressure regulation. Although local extracellular K + concentration in kidney tissue is increasingly recognized as an important regulator of K + secretion, the underlying mechanisms that are relevant in vivo remain controversial. To assess the role of the signaling kinase mTOR complex-2 (mTORC2), the authors compared the effects of K + administered by gavage in wild-type mice and knockout mice with kidney tubule-specific inactivation of mTORC2. They found that mTORC2 is rapidly activated to trigger K + secretion and maintain electrolyte homeostasis. Downstream targets of mTORC2 implicated in epithelial sodium channel regulation (SGK1 and Nedd4-2) were concomitantly phosphorylated in wild-type, but not knockout, mice. These findings offer insight into electrolyte physiologic and regulatory mechanisms. BACKGROUND: Increasing evidence implicates the signaling kinase mTOR complex-2 (mTORC2) in rapid renal responses to changes in plasma potassium concentration [K + ]. However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms that are relevant in vivo for these responses remain controversial. METHODS: We used Cre-Lox-mediated knockout of rapamycin-insensitive companion of TOR (Rictor) to inactivate mTORC2 in kidney tubule cells of mice. In a series of time-course experiments in wild-type and knockout mice, we assessed urinary and blood parameters and renal expression and activity of signaling molecules and transport proteins after a K + load by gavage. RESULTS: A K + load rapidly stimulated epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) processing, plasma membrane localization, and activity in wild-type, but not in knockout, mice. Downstream targets of mTORC2 implicated in ENaC regulation (SGK1 and Nedd4-2) were concomitantly phosphorylated in wild-type, but not knockout, mice. We observed differences in urine electrolytes within 60 minutes, and plasma [K + ] was greater in knockout mice within 3 hours of gavage. Renal outer medullary potassium (ROMK) channels were not acutely stimulated in wild-type or knockout mice, nor were phosphorylation of other mTORC2 substrates (PKC and Akt). CONCLUSIONS: The mTORC2-SGK1-Nedd4-2-ENaC signaling axis is a key mediator of rapid tubule cell responses to increased plasma [K + ] in vivo . The effects of K + on this signaling module are specific, in that other downstream mTORC2 targets, such as PKC and Akt, are not acutely affected, and ROMK and Large-conductance K + (BK) channels are not activated. These findings provide new insight into the signaling network and ion transport systems that underlie renal responses to K +in vivo .
Saha, B., Shabbir, W., Takagi, E., Duan, X., Leite Dellova, D. C., Demko, J., Manis, A., Loffing-Cueni, D., Loffing, J., Sørensen, M. V., Wang, W., & Pearce, D. (2023). Potassium Activates Mtorc2-Dependent SGK1 Phosphorylation to Stimulate Epithelial Sodium Channel: Role in Rapid Renal Responses to Dietary Potassium. https://doi.org/10.1681/ASN.0000000000000109