Expression and role of serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 2 in the regulation of Na+/H+ exchanger 3 in the mammalian kidney

Alan C. Pao, Aditi Bhargava, Francesca Di Sole, Raymond Quigley, Xinli Shao, Jian Wang, Sheela Thomas, Jianning Zhang, Mingjun Shi, John W. Funder, Orson W. Moe, David Pearce

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42 Scopus citations


Serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 2 (sgk2) is 80% identical to the kinase domain of sgk1, an important mediator of mineralocorticoid-regulated sodium (Na+) transport in the distal nephron of the kidney. The expression pattern and role in renal function of sgk2 are virtually uncharacterized. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry of rodent kidney coupled with real-time RT-PCR of microdissected rat kidney tubules showed robust sgk2 expression in the proximal straight tubule and thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle. Sgk2 expression was minimal in distal tubule cells with aquaporin-2 immunostaining but significant in proximal tubule cells with Na +/H+ exchanger 3 (NHE3) immunostaining. To ascertain whether mineralocorticoids regulate expression of sgk2 in a manner similar to sgk1, we examined sgk2 mRNA expression in the kidneys of adrenalectomized rats treated with physiological doses of aldosterone together with the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU486. Northern blot analysis and in situ hybridization showed that, unlike sgk1, sgk2 expression in the kidney was not altered by aldosterone treatment. Based on the observation that sgk2 is expressed in proximal tubule cells that also express NHE3, we asked whether sgk2 regulates NHE3 activity. We heterologously expressed sgk2 in opossum kidney (OKP) cells and measured Na+/H+ exchange activity by Na +-dependent cell pH recovery. Constitutively active sgk2, but not sgk1, stimulated Na+/H+ exchange activity by >30%. Moreover, the sgk2-mediated increase in Na+/H+ exchange activity correlated with an increase in cell surface expression of NHE3. Together, these results suggest that the pattern of expression, regulation, and role of sgk2 within the mammalian kidney are distinct from sgk1 and that sgk2 may play a previously unrecognized role in the control of transtubular Na + transport through NHE3 in the proximal tubule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F1496-F1506
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Kidney tubule
  • OKP
  • Sgk
  • Sodium/hydrogen exchanger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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