Characterization of mouse urea transporters UT-A1 and UT-A2

R. A. Fenton, G. S. Stewart, B. Carpenter, A. Howorth, E. A. Potter, G. J. Cooper, C. P. Smith

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    Specialized transporter proteins that are the products of two closely related genes, UT-A (Slc14a2) and UT-B (Slc14a1), modulate the movement of urea across cell membranes. The purpose of this study was to characterize the mouse variants of two major products of the UT-A gene, UT-A1 and UT-A2. Screening a mouse kidney inner medulla cDNA library yielded 4,047- and 2,876-bp cDNAs, the mouse homologues of UT-A1 and UT-A2. Northern blot analysis showed high levels of UT-A mRNAs in kidney medulla. UT-A transcripts were also present in testes, heart, brain, and liver. Immunoblots with an antiserum raised to the 19 COOH-terminal amino acids of rat UT-A1 (L194) identified immunoreactive proteins in kidney, testes, heart, brain, and liver and showed a complex pattern of differential expression. Relative to other tissues, kidney and brain had the highest levels of UT-A protein expression. In kidney sections, immunostaining with L194 revealed immunoreactive proteins in type 1 (short) and type 3 (long) thin descending limbs of the loop of Henle and in the middle and terminal inner medullary collecting ducts. Expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes showed that, characteristic of UT-A family members, the cDNAs encoded phloretininhibitable urea transporters. Acute application of PKA agonists (cAMP/forskolin/IBMX) caused a significant increase in UT-A1- and UT-A3-, but not UT-A2-mediated, urea transport.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)F817-F825
    JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Renal Physiology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002


    • Kidney
    • Membrane protein
    • Protein kinase A
    • Urinary concentration


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