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      Cell and Molecular Biology of Organic Osmolyte Accumulation in Hypertonic Renal Cells

      ,

      Nephron

      S. Karger AG

      <italic>Myo</italic>-inositol, Betaine, Sorbitol, Tonicity responsive element, Stress

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          Abstract

          When the renal medulla becomes hypertonic in association with the formation of concentrated urine, the cells of the medulla avoid the stress of high intracellular salts by accumulating small non-perturbing organic osmolytes. The response has been studied in most detail in cultured kidney-derived cells, and confirmed in studies of the intact kidney. The non-perturbing osmolytes, myo-inositol, betaine, and sorbitol, are accumulated because of stimulation of the transcription of the genes for the proteins that catalyze their accumulation by transport or synthesis. The genes involved have all been cloned and sequenced and contain tonicity responsive regulatory elements (TonEs) in their 5′ region. During hypertonicity, the elements are occupied by TonE-binding protein, a transacting factor that has been cloned and characterized. Current efforts focus on identifying the mechanism by which cells sense hypertonicity and how that leads to activation of TonE-binding protein.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Regulation of gene expression by hypertonicity.

          Adaptation of cells to hypertonicity often involves changes in gene expression. Since the concentration of salt in the interstitial fluid surrounding renal inner medullary cells varies with operation of the renal concentrating mechanism and generally is very high, the adaptive mechanisms of these cells are of special interest. Renal medullary cells compensate for hypertonicity by accumulating variable amounts of compatible organic osmolytes, including sorbitol, myo-inositol, glycine betaine, and taurine. In this review we consider how these solutes help relieve the stress of hypertonicity and the nature of transporters and enzymes responsible for their variable accumulation. We emphasize recent developments concerning the molecular basis for osmotic regulation of these genes, including identification and characterization of osmotic response elements. Although osmotic stresses are much smaller in other parts of the body than in the renal medulla, similar mechanisms operate throughout, yielding important physiological and pathophysiological consequences.
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            Tonicity-responsive enhancer binding protein, a Rel-like protein that stimulates transcription in response to hypertonicity

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              Transcription of the sodium/myo-inositol cotransporter gene is regulated by multiple tonicity-responsive enhancers spread over 50 kilobase pairs in the 5'-flanking region.

              The sodium/myo-inositol cotransporter is a plasma membrane protein responsible for concentrative cellular accumulation of myo-inositol in a variety of tissues. When cells in kidney and brain are exposed to a hyperosmolar salt condition (hypertonicity) due to the operation of urinary concentration mechanism and pathological conditions, respectively, they survive the stress of hypertonicity by raising the cellular concentration of myo-inositol. Transcription of the sodium/myo-inositol cotransporter gene is markedly stimulated in response to hypertonicity, leading to an increase in the activity of the cotransporter, which in turn drives the osmoprotective accumulation of myo-inositol. To understand the molecular mechanisms by which hypertonicity stimulates transcription, we analyzed the 5'-flanking region of the cotransporter gene for cis-acting regulatory sequences. We identified five tonicity-responsive enhancers that are scattered over 50 kilobase pairs. All the enhancers are variations of the same type of enhancer interacting with the transcription factor named tonicity-responsive enhancer binding protein. In vivo methylation experiments demonstrated that exposure of cells to hypertonicity increases the binding of tonicity-responsive enhancer binding protein to the enhancer sites, indicating that all of these enhancers are involved in the transcriptional stimulation. We conclude that the sodium/myo-inositol cotransporter gene is regulated by a large region (approximately 50 kilobase pairs) upstream of the gene.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEF
                Nephron
                10.1159/issn.1660-8151
                Nephron
                S. Karger AG
                1660-8151
                2235-3186
                2001
                2001
                16 February 2001
                : 87
                : 2
                : 106-110
                Affiliations
                Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md., USA
                Article
                45897 Nephron 2001;87:106–110
                10.1159/000045897
                11244303
                © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                References: 38, Pages: 5
                Product
                Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/45897
                Categories
                Distinguished Scientists Lecture Series<br>Section Editors: J.C.M. Chan; R.J. Krieg, Jr.; J.I. Scheinmann (Richmond, Va.)

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