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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 75-80

Sodium-chloride cotransporter activity regulated by extracellular potassium

Department of Nephrology, Xin Hua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

Correspondence Address:
Chong Zhang
Department of Nephrology, Xin Hua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai Shi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jina.jina_13_17

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The thiazide-sensitive sodium-chloride cotransporter (NCC) is exclusively expressed in the apical membrane of the renal distal convoluted tubule (DCT), and it is important for maintaining fluid and salt balance. NCC is responsible for electroneutral NaCl reabsorption, and its activity is determined by phosphorylation, which was reported to be regulated by WNK-stimulated Ste20-type kinases, Ste20-related proline alanine-rich kinase, and oxidative stress response 1 kinase. WNK kinases have chloride-binding sites, and WNK4 has the highest sensitivity to intracellular chloride concentration ([Cl]i) compared with WNK1 and WNK3. NCC dysfunction often comes together with abnormal urinary potassium excretion, which is not only highlighted by Mendelian disorders such as familial hyperkalemic hypertension (FHHt) and Gitelman syndrome but also presented more frequently by long-term usage of thiazides, specific inhibitors of NCC. Recent studies have shown that extracellular potassium (K+) can modulate DCT cell membrane voltage and in turn intracellular Cl, which regulates phosphorylation of WNK kinases. Additional Cl independent mechanisms were also reported by several groups. This paper is a brief review of the recent discoveries on mechanisms of NCC regulation by extracellular potassium.

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