Impaired phosphorylation of Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter by oxidative stress-responsive kinase-1 deficiency manifests hypotension and Bartter-like syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporters (NKCCs), including NKCC1 and renal-specific NKCC2, and the Na(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter (NCC) play pivotal roles in the regulation of blood pressure (BP) and renal NaCl reabsorption. Oxidative stress-responsive kinase-1 (OSR1) is a known upstream regulator of N(K)CCs. We generated and analyzed global and kidney tubule-specific (KSP) OSR1 KO mice to elucidate the physiological role of OSR1 in vivo, particularly on BP and kidney function. Although global OSR1(-/-) mice were embryonically lethal, OSR1(+/-) mice had low BP associated with reduced phosphorylated (p) STE20 (sterile 20)/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) and p-NKCC1 abundance in aortic tissue and attenuated p-NKCC2 abundance with increased total and p-NCC expression in the kidney. KSP-OSR1(-/-) mice had normal BP and hypercalciuria and maintained significant hypokalemia on a low-K(+) diet. KSP-OSR1(-/-) mice exhibited impaired Na(+) reabsorption in the thick ascending loop on a low-Na(+) diet accompanied by remarkably decreased expression of p-NKCC2 and a blunted response to furosemide, an NKCC2 inhibitor. The expression of total SPAK and p-SPAK was significantly increased in parallel to that of total NCC and p-NCC despite unchanged total NKCC2 expression. These results suggest that, globally, OSR1 is involved in the regulation of BP and renal tubular Na(+) reabsorption mainly via the activation of NKCC1 and NKCC2. In the kidneys, NKCC2 but not NCC is the main target of OSR1 and the reduced p-NKCC2 in KSP-OSR1(-/-) mice may lead to a Bartter-like syndrome.
Project description:Polymorphisms in the gene encoding sterile 20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) associate with hypertension susceptibility in humans. SPAK interacts with WNK kinases to regulate the Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) and Na(+)-Cl(-) co-transporters [collectively, N(K)CC]. Mutations in WNK1/4 and N(K)CC can cause changes in BP and dyskalemia in humans, but the physiologic role of SPAK in vivo is unknown. We generated and analyzed SPAK-null mice by targeting disruption of exons 9 and 10 of SPAK. Compared with SPAK(+/+) littermates, SPAK(+/-) mice exhibited hypotension without significant electrolyte abnormalities, and SPAK(-/-) mice not only exhibited hypotension but also recapitulated Gitelman syndrome with hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, and hypocalciuria. In the kidney tissues of SPAK(-/-) mice, the expression of total and phosphorylated (p-)NCC was markedly decreased, but that of p-OSR1, total NKCC2, and p-NKCC2 was significantly increased. We observed a blunted response to thiazide but normal response to furosemide in SPAK(-/-) mice. In aortic tissues, total NKCC1 expression was increased but p-NKCC1 was decreased in SPAK-deficient mice. Both SPAK(+/-) and SPAK(-/-) mice had impaired responses to the selective ?(1)-adrenergic agonist phenylephrine and the NKCC1 inhibitor bumetanide, suggesting that impaired aortic contractility may contribute to the hypotension of SPAK-null mice. In summary, SPAK-null mice have defects of NCC in the kidneys and NKCC1 in the blood vessels, leading to hypotension through renal salt wasting and vasodilation. SPAK may be a promising target for antihypertensive therapy.
Project description:Na(+)-dependent chloride cotransporters (NKCC1, NKCC2, and NCC) are activated by phosphorylation to play critical roles in diverse physiological responses, including renal salt balance, hearing, epithelial fluid secretion, and volume regulation. Serine threonine kinase WNK4 (With No K = lysine member 4) and members of the Ste20 kinase family, namely SPAK and OSR1 (Ste20-related proline/alanine-rich kinase, Oxidative stress-responsive kinase) govern phosphorylation. According to present understanding, WNK4 phosphorylates key residues within SPAK/OSR1 leading to kinase activation, allowing SPAK/OSR1 to bind to and phosphorylate NKCC1, NKCC2, and NCC. Recently, the calcium-binding protein 39 (Cab39) has emerged as a binding partner and enhancer of SPAK/OSR1 activity, facilitating kinase autoactivation and promoting phosphorylation of the cotransporters. In the present study, we provide evidence showing that Cab39 differentially interacts with WNK4 and SPAK/OSR1 to switch the classic two kinase cascade into a signal kinase transduction mechanism. We found that WNK4 in association with Cab39 activates NKCC1 in a SPAK/OSR1-independent manner. We discovered that WNK4 possesses a domain that bears close resemblance to the SPAK/OSR1 C-terminal CCT/PF2 domain, which is required for physical interaction between the Ste20 kinases and the Na(+)-driven chloride cotransporters. Modeling, yeast two-hybrid, and functional data reveal that this PF2-like domain located downstream of the catalytic domain in WNK4 promotes the direct interaction between the kinase and NKCC1. We conclude that in addition to SPAK and OSR1, WNK4 is able to anchor itself to the N-terminal domain of NKCC1 and to promote cotransporter activation.
Project description:Upon activation by with-no-lysine kinases, STE20/SPS1-related proline-alanine-rich protein kinase (SPAK) phosphorylates and activates SLC12A transporters such as the Na(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter (NCC) and Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter type 1 (NKCC1) and type 2 (NKCC2); these transporters have important roles in regulating BP through NaCl reabsorption and vasoconstriction. SPAK knockout mice are viable and display hypotension with decreased activity (phosphorylation) of NCC and NKCC1 in the kidneys and aorta, respectively. Therefore, agents that inhibit SPAK activity could be a new class of antihypertensive drugs with dual actions (i.e., NaCl diuresis and vasodilation). In this study, we developed a new ELISA-based screening system to find novel SPAK inhibitors and screened >20,000 small-molecule compounds. Furthermore, we used a drug repositioning strategy to identify existing drugs that inhibit SPAK activity. As a result, we discovered one small-molecule compound (Stock 1S-14279) and an antiparasitic agent (Closantel) that inhibited SPAK-regulated phosphorylation and activation of NCC and NKCC1 in vitro and in mice. Notably, these compounds had structural similarity and inhibited SPAK in an ATP-insensitive manner. We propose that the two compounds found in this study may have great potential as novel antihypertensive drugs.
Project description:Stimulation of the OSR1 (Oxidative stress-responsive kinase-1)/SPAK [STE20 (sterile 20)/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase]-NCC (Na(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter) signaling cascade plays an important role in the WNK [With-No-Lysine (K)] kinase 4 D561A knock-in mouse model of pseudohypoaldosteronism type II (PHA II) characterized by salt-sensitive hypertension and hyperkalemia. The aim of this study was to investigate the respective roles of Osr1 and Spak in the pathogenesis of PHA II in vivo. Wnk4 (D561A/+) mice were crossed with kidney tubule-specific (KSP) Osr1 knockout (KSP-Osr1 (-/-)) and Spak knockout (Spak (-/-)) mice. Blood pressure, plasma and urine biochemistries, and the relevant protein expression in the kidneys were examined. Wnk4 (D561A/+), KSP-Osr1 (-/-), and Spak (-/-) mice recapitulated the phenotypes of PHA II, Bartter-like syndrome, and Gitelman syndrome, respectively. Wnk4 (D561A/+).KSP-Osr1 (-/-) remained phenotypically PHA II while Wnk4 (D561A/+).Spak (-/-) mice became normotensive and lacked the PHA II phenotype. Phosphorylated Spak and Ncc were similarly increased in both Wnk4 (D561A/+) and Wnk4 (D561A/+).KSP-Osr1 (-/-) mice while phosphorylated Ncc normalized in Wnk4 (D561A/+).Spak (-/-) mice. Furthermore, Wnk4 (D561A/+).KSP-Osr1 (-/-) mice exhibited exaggerated salt excretion in response to thiazide diuretics while Wnk4 (D561A/+).Spak (-/-) mice exhibited normal responses. Wnk4(D561A/+).Spak (-/-).KSP-Osr1 (-/-) triple mutant mice had low blood pressure and diminished phosphorylated Ncc. Both SPAK and OSR1 are important in the maintenance of blood pressure but activation of SPAK-NCC plays the dominant role in PHA II. SPAK may be a therapeutic target for disorders with salt-sensitive hypertension related to WNK4 activation.
Project description:Mutations in WNK1 and WNK4 kinase genes have been shown to cause a human hereditary hypertensive disease, pseudohypoaldosteronism type II (PHAII). We previously discovered that WNK kinases phosphorylate and activate OSR1/SPAK kinases that regulate renal SLC12A family transporters such as NKCC2 and NCC, and clarified that the constitutive activation of this cascade causes PHAII. WNK3, another member of the WNK kinase family, was reported to be a strong activator of NCC/NKCC2 when assayed in Xenopus oocytes, suggesting that WNK3 also plays a major role in regulating blood pressure and sodium reabsorption in the kidney. However, it remains to be determined whether WNK3 is in fact involved in the regulation of these transporters in vivo. To clarify this issue, we generated and analyzed WNK3 knockout mice. Surprisingly, phosphorylation and expression of OSR1, SPAK, NKCC2 and NCC did not decrease in knockout mouse kidney under normal and low-salt diets. Similarly, expression of epithelial Na channel and Na/H exchanger 3 were not affected in knockout mice. Na(+) and K(+) excretion in urine in WNK3 knockout mice was not affected under different salt diets. Blood pressure in WNK3 knockout mice was not lower under normal diet. However, lower blood pressure was observed in WNK3 knockout mice fed low-salt diet. WNK4 and WNK1 expression was slightly elevated in the knockout mice under low-salt diet, suggesting compensation for WNK3 knockout by these WNKs. Thus, WNK3 may have some role in the WNK-OSR1/SPAK-NCC/NKCC2 signal cascade in the kidney, but its contribution to total WNK kinase activity may be minimal.
Project description:The STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) controls blood pressure (BP) by phosphorylating and stimulating the Na-Cl (NCC) and Na-K-2Cl (NKCC2) co-transporters, which regulate salt reabsorption in the kidney. SPAK possesses a conserved carboxy-terminal (CCT) domain, which recognises RFXV/I motifs present in its upstream activator [isoforms of the With-No-lysine (K) kinases (WNKs)] as well as its substrates (NCC and NKCC2). To define the physiological importance of the CCT domain, we generated knock-in mice in which the critical CCT domain Leu502 residue required for high affinity recognition of the RFXI/V motif was mutated to Alanine. The SPAK CCT domain defective knock-in animals are viable, and the Leu502Ala mutation abolished co-immunoprecipitation of SPAK with WNK1, NCC and NKCC2. The CCT domain defective animals displayed markedly reduced SPAK activity and phosphorylation of NCC and NKCC2 co-transporters at the residues phosphorylated by SPAK. This was also accompanied by a reduction in the expression of NCC and NKCC2 protein without changes in mRNA levels. The SPAK CCT domain knock-in mice showed typical features of Gitelman Syndrome with mild hypokalaemia, hypomagnesaemia, hypocalciuria and displayed salt wasting on switching to a low-Na diet. These observations establish that the CCT domain plays a crucial role in controlling SPAK activity and BP. Our results indicate that CCT domain inhibitors would be effective at reducing BP by lowering phosphorylation as well as expression of NCC and NKCC2.
Project description:The oxidative-stress-responsive kinase 1 (OSR1) and the STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) are key enzymes in a signaling cascade regulating the activity of Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporters (NKCC1-2) and Na(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter (NCC). Both kinases have a conserved carboxyl-terminal (CCT) domain, which recognizes a unique peptide motif present in OSR1- and SPAK-activating kinases (with-no-lysine kinase 1 (WNK1) and WNK4) as well as their substrates (NKCC1, NKCC2, and NCC). Utilizing various modalities of the Rosetta Molecular Modeling Software Suite including flexible peptide docking and protein design, we comprehensively explored the sequence space recognized by the CCT domain. Specifically, we studied single residue mutations as well as complete unbiased designs of a hexapeptide substrate. The computational study started from a crystal structure of the CCT domain of OSR1 in complex with a hexapeptide derived from WNK4. Point mutations predicted to be favorable include Arg to His or Trp substitutions at position 2 and a Phe to Tyr substitution at position 3 of the hexapeptide. In addition, de novo design yielded two peptides predicted to bind to the CCT domain: FRFQVT and TRFDVT. These results, which indicate a little bit more freedom in the composition of the peptide, were confirmed through the use of yeast two-hybrid screening.
Project description:Ion cotransporters, such as the Na(+)/Cl(-) cotransporter (NCC), control renal salt re-absorption and are regulated by the WNK-signalling pathway, which is over-stimulated in patients suffering from Gordon's hypertension syndrome. Here, we study the regulation of the NKCC2 (SLC12A1) ion cotransporter that contributes towards ~25% of renal salt re-absorption and is inhibited by loop-diuretic hypertensive drugs. We demonstrate that hypotonic low-chloride conditions that activate the WNK1-SPAK and OSR1 pathway promote phosphorylation of NKCC2 isoforms (A, B and F) at five residues (Ser91, Thr95, Thr100, Thr105 and Ser130). We establish that the SPAK and OSR1 kinases activated by WNK interact with an RFQV motif on NKCC2 and directly phosphorylate Thr95, Thr100, Thr105 and, possibly, Ser91. Our data indicate that a SPAK-OSR1-independent kinase, perhaps AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), phosphorylates Ser130 and that phosphorylation of Thr105 and Ser130 plays the most important roles in stimulating NKCC2 activity. In contrast with NCC, whose membrane translocation is triggered by SPAK-OSR1 phosphorylation, NKCC2 appears to be constitutively at the membrane. Our findings provide new insights into how NKCC2 is regulated and suggest that inhibitors of SPAK and/or OSR1 for the treatment of hypertension would be therapeutically distinct from thiazide or loop diuretics, as they would suppress the activity of both NCC and NKCC2.
Project description:Mutations within the with-no-K(Lys) (WNK) kinases cause Gordon's syndrome characterized by hypertension and hyperkalaemia. WNK kinases phosphorylate and activate the STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) protein kinase, which phosphorylates and stimulates the key Na(+):Cl(-) cotransporter (NCC) and Na(+):K(+):2Cl(-) cotransporters (NKCC2) cotransporters that control salt reabsorption in the kidney. To define the importance of this pathway in regulating blood pressure, we generated knock-in mice in which SPAK cannot be activated by WNKs. The SPAK knock-in animals are viable, but display significantly reduced blood pressure that was salt-dependent. These animals also have markedly reduced phosphorylation of NCC and NKCC2 cotransporters at the residues phosphorylated by SPAK. This was also accompanied by a reduction in the expression of NCC and NKCC2 protein without changes in messenger RNA (mRNA) levels. On a normal Na(+)-diet, the SPAK knock-in mice were normokalaemic, but developed mild hypokalaemia when the renin-angiotensin system was activated by a low Na(+)-diet. These observations establish that SPAK plays an important role in controlling blood pressure in mammals. Our results imply that SPAK inhibitors would be effective at reducing blood pressure by lowering phosphorylation as well as expression of NCC and NKCC2. See accompanying Closeup by Maria Castañeda-Bueno and Gerald Gamba (DOI 10.1002/emmm.200900059).
Project description:The NaCl cotransporter (NCC) is essential for sodium reabsorption at the distal convoluted tubules (DCT), and its phosphorylation increases its transport activity and apical membrane localization. Although insulin has been reported to increase sodium reabsorption in the kidney, the linkage between insulin and NCC phosphorylation has not yet been investigated. This study examined whether insulin regulates NCC phosphorylation. In cultured mpkDCT cells, insulin increased phosphorylation of STE20/SPS1-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) and NCC in a dose-dependent manner. This insulin-induced phosphorylation of NCC was suppressed in WNK4 and SPAK knockdown cells. In addition, Ly294002, a PI3K inhibitor, decreased the insulin effect on SPAK and NCC phosphorylation, indicating that insulin induces phosphorylation of SPAK and NCC through PI3K and WNK4 in mpkDCT cells. Moreover, acute insulin administration to mice increased phosphorylation of oxidative stress-responsive kinase-1 (OSR1), SPAK and NCC in the kidney. Time-course experiments in mpkDCT cells and mice suggested that SPAK is upstream of NCC in this insulin-induced NCC phosphorylation mechanism, which was confirmed by the lack of insulin-induced NCC phosphorylation in SPAK knockout mice. Moreover, insulin administration to WNK4 hypomorphic mice did not increase phosphorylation of OSR1, SPAK and NCC in the kidney, suggesting that WNK4 is also involved in the insulin-induced OSR1, SPAK and NCC phosphorylation mechanism in vivo. The present results demonstrated that insulin is a potent regulator of NCC phosphorylation in the kidney, and that WNK4 and SPAK are involved in this mechanism of NCC phosphorylation by insulin.