However, if the AVP level is too high, as is the case in patients with chronic heart failure, aquaporin-2 remains permanently in the plasma membrane of the renal principal cell and directs the water continuously from the primary urine into the renal collecting duct principal cells. These cells funnel the excess water into the body tissue. "This process contributes to edema," Dr. Klumann said.
Discovery of how translocation of water channels can be inhibited
How can aquaporin-2 be prevented from settling permanently in the plasma membrane and thus triggering diseases or making them worse? Using a new research approach, the scientists were able to identify an inhibitor which prevents the translocation of the water channel aquaporin-2 into the cell membrane. At the same time they discovered a new regulatory mechanism of water homeostasis at the molecular level.
The researchers used "small molecules", low molecular weight organic compounds, which penetrate well into cells. They tested 17 700 such substances in renal cells and ultimately filtered out a substance that blocks the redistribution of aquaporin-2 to the plasma membrane. The substance (4-acetyldiphyllin) prevents phosphorylation, an important biological and regulatory activation step. In particular, the compound prevents a phosphorylation reaction that is catalyzed by a protein termed protein kinase A. This protein is activated in the signaling cascade that is triggered by AVP in the renal principal cells. In the presence of 4-acetyldiphillin protein kinase A cannot add a phosphate group to aquaporin-2, with the result that the water channels can no longer redistribute to the plasma membrane.
The new research findings may not only be of interes
|Contact: Bachtler, Barbara|
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres