Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway activates the WNK-OSR1/SPAK-NCC phosphorylation cascade in hyperinsulinemic db/db mice.
ABSTRACT: Metabolic syndrome patients have insulin resistance, which causes hyperinsulinemia, which in turn causes aberrant increased renal sodium reabsorption. The precise mechanisms underlying this greater salt sensitivity of hyperinsulinemic patients remain unclear. Abnormal activation of the recently identified with-no-lysine kinase (WNK)-oxidative stress-responsive kinase 1 (OSR1)/STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK)-NaCl cotransporter (NCC) phosphorylation cascade results in the salt-sensitive hypertension of pseudohypoaldosteronism type II. Here, we report a study of renal WNK-OSR1/SPAK-NCC cascade activation in the db/db mouse model of hyperinsulinemic metabolic syndrome. Thiazide sensitivity was increased, suggesting greater activity of NCC in db/db mice. In fact, increased phosphorylation of OSR1/SPAK and NCC was observed. In both SpakT243A/+ and Osr1T185A/+ knock-in db/db mice, which carry mutations that disrupt the signal from WNK kinases, increased phosphorylation of NCC and elevated blood pressure were completely corrected, indicating that phosphorylation of SPAK and OSR1 by WNK kinases is required for the increased activation and phosphorylation of NCC in this model. Renal phosphorylated Akt was increased in db/db mice, suggesting that increased NCC phosphorylation is regulated by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling cascade in the kidney in response to hyperinsulinemia. A phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor (NVP-BEZ235) corrected the increased OSR1/SPAK-NCC phosphorylation. Another more specific phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor (GDC-0941) and an Akt inhibitor (MK-2206) also inhibited increased NCC phosphorylation. These results indicate that the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway activates the WNK-OSR1/SPAK-NCC phosphorylation cascade in db/db mice. This mechanism may play a role in the pathogenesis of salt-sensitive hypertension in human hyperinsulinemic conditions, such as the metabolic syndrome.
Project description:K<sup>+</sup> deficiency stimulates renal salt reuptake via the Na<sup>+</sup>-Cl<sup>-</sup> cotransporter (NCC) of the distal convoluted tubule (DCT), thereby reducing K<sup>+</sup> losses in downstream nephron segments while increasing NaCl retention and blood pressure. NCC activation is mediated by a kinase cascade involving with no lysine (WNK) kinases upstream of Ste20-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) and oxidative stress-responsive kinase-1 (OSR1). In K<sup>+</sup> deficiency, WNKs and SPAK/OSR1 concentrate in spherical cytoplasmic domains in the DCT termed "WNK bodies," the significance of which is undetermined. By feeding diets of varying salt and K<sup>+</sup> content to mice and using genetically engineered mouse lines, we aimed to clarify whether WNK bodies contribute to WNK-SPAK/OSR1-NCC signaling. Phosphorylated SPAK/OSR1 was present both at the apical membrane and in WNK bodies within 12 h of dietary K<sup>+</sup> deprivation, and it was promptly suppressed by K<sup>+</sup> loading. In WNK4-deficient mice, however, larger WNK bodies formed, containing unphosphorylated WNK1, SPAK, and OSR1. This suggests that WNK4 is the primary active WNK isoform in WNK bodies and catalyzes SPAK/OSR1 phosphorylation therein. We further examined mice carrying a kidney-specific deletion of the basolateral K<sup>+</sup> channel-forming protein Kir4.1, which is required for the DCT to sense plasma K<sup>+</sup> concentration. These mice displayed remnant mosaic expression of Kir4.1 in the DCT, and upon K<sup>+</sup> deprivation, WNK bodies developed only in Kir4.1-expressing cells. We postulate a model of DCT function in which NCC activity is modulated by plasma K<sup>+</sup> concentration via WNK4-SPAK/OSR1 interactions within WNK bodies.
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:The thiazide-sensitive NaCl cotransporter (NCC) is important for renal salt handling and blood-pressure homeostasis. The canonical NCC-activating pathway consists of With-No-Lysine (WNK) kinases and their downstream effector kinases SPAK and OSR1, which phosphorylate NCC directly. The upstream mechanisms that connect physiological stimuli to this system remain obscure. Here, we have shown that aldosterone activates SPAK/OSR1 via WNK1. We identified 2 alternatively spliced exons embedded within a proline-rich region of WNK1 that contain PY motifs, which bind the E3 ubiquitin ligase NEDD4-2. PY motif-containing WNK1 isoforms were expressed in human kidney, and these isoforms were efficiently degraded by the ubiquitin proteasome system, an effect reversed by the aldosterone-induced kinase SGK1. In gene-edited cells, WNK1 deficiency negated regulatory effects of NEDD4-2 and SGK1 on NCC, suggesting that WNK1 mediates aldosterone-dependent activity of the WNK/SPAK/OSR1 pathway. Aldosterone infusion increased proline-rich WNK1 isoform abundance in WT mice but did not alter WNK1 abundance in hypertensive Nedd4-2 KO mice, which exhibit high baseline WNK1 and SPAK/OSR1 activity toward NCC. Conversely, hypotensive Sgk1 KO mice exhibited low WNK1 expression and activity. Together, our findings indicate that the proline-rich exons are modular cassettes that convert WNK1 into a NEDD4-2 substrate, thereby linking aldosterone and other NEDD4-2-suppressing antinatriuretic hormones to NCC phosphorylation status.
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 renal thick ascending limb (TAL) and distal convoluted tubule (DCT) play central roles in salt homeostasis and blood pressure regulation. An emerging model suggests that bumetanide- and thiazide-sensitive NaCl transporters (NKCC2 and NCC) along these segments are phosphorylated and activated by WNK kinases, via SPAK and OSR1. Here, we show that a kidney-specific SPAK isoform, which lacks the kinase domain, inhibits phosphorylation of NCC and NKCC2 by full-length SPAK in vitro. Kidney-specific SPAK is highly expressed along the TAL, whereas full-length SPAK is more highly expressed along the DCT. As predicted from the differential expression, SPAK knockout in animals has divergent effects along TAL and DCT, with increased phosphorylated NKCC2 along TAL and decreased phosphorylated NCC along DCT. In mice, extracellular fluid volume depletion shifts SPAK isoform abundance to favor NaCl retention along both segments, indicating that a SPAK isoform switch modulates sodium avidity along the distal nephron.
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.
Project description:By analysing the pathogenesis of a hereditary hypertensive disease, PHAII (pseudohypoaldosteronism type II), we previously discovered that WNK (with-no-lysine kinase)-OSR1/SPAK (oxidative stress-responsive 1/Ste20-like proline/alanine-rich kinase) cascade regulates NCC (Na-Cl co-transporter) in the DCT (distal convoluted tubules) of the kidney. However, the role of WNK4 in the regulation of NCC remains controversial. To address this, we generated and analysed WNK4-/- mice. Although a moderate decrease in SPAK phosphorylation and a marked increase in WNK1 expression were evident in the kidneys of WNK4-/- mice, the amount of phosphorylated and total NCC decreased to almost undetectable levels, indicating that WNK4 is the major WNK positively regulating NCC, and that WNK1 cannot compensate for WNK4 deficiency in the DCT. Insulin- and low-potassium diet-induced NCC phosphorylation were abolished in WNK4-/- mice, establishing that both signals to NCC were mediated by WNK4. As shown previously, a high-salt diet decreases phosphorylated and total NCC in WNK4+/+ mice via AngII (angiotensin II) and aldosterone suppression. This was not ameliorated by WNK4 knock out, excluding the negative regulation of WNK4 on NCC postulated to be active in the absence of AngII stimulation. Thus, WNK4 is the major positive regulator of NCC in the kidneys.
Project description:Mutations in the human genes encoding WNK1 [with no K (lysine) protein kinase-1] and the related protein kinase WNK4 are the cause of Gordon's hypertension syndrome. Little is known about the molecular mechanism by which WNK isoforms regulate cellular processes. We immunoprecipitated WNK1 from extracts of rat testis and found that it was specifically associated with a protein kinase of the STE20 family termed 'STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase' (SPAK). We demonstrated that WNK1 and WNK4 both interacted with SPAK as well as a closely related kinase, termed 'oxidative stress response kinase-1' (OSR1). Wildtype (wt) but not catalytically inactive WNK1 and WNK4 phosphorylated SPAK and OSR1 to a much greater extent than with other substrates utilized previously, such as myelin basic protein and claudin-4. Phosphorylation by WNK1 or WNK4 markedly increased SPAK and OSR1 activity. Phosphopeptide mapping studies demonstrated that WNK1 phosphorylated kinase-inactive SPAK and OSR1 at an equivalent residue located within the T-loop of the catalytic domain (Thr233 in SPAK, Thr185 in OSR1) and a serine residue located within a C-terminal non-catalytic region (Ser373 in SPAK, Ser325 in OSR1). Mutation of Thr185 to alanine prevented the activation of OSR1 by WNK1, whereas mutation of Thr185 to glutamic acid (to mimic phosphorylation) increased the basal activity of OSR1 over 20-fold and prevented further activation by WNK1. Mutation of Ser325 in OSR1 to alanine or glutamic acid did not affect the basal activity of OSR1 or its ability to be activated by WNK1. These findings suggest that WNK isoforms operate as protein kinases that activate SPAK and OSR1 by phosphorylating the T-loops of these enzymes, resulting in their activation. Our analysis also describes the first facile assay that can be employed to quantitatively assess WNK1 and WNK4 activity.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The hypertensive effect of angiotensin II (AngII), a peptide hormone, is dependent on its intrarenal actions and the activation of the renal Na-Cl cotransporter (NCC), by AngII requires integrity of the with no lysine kinase/STE20-proline alanine-rich kinase (WNK/SPAK) signaling pathway. Here, we analyzed if the integrity of the WNK/SPAK pathway is required for AngII infusion to induce arterial hypertension. METHODS:We tested the effect of AngII or aldosterone administration on the blood pressure and on pNCC/NCC ratio in SPAK knock-in mice in which the kinase and thus NCC cannot be activated by WNK kinases. AngII or aldosterone was infused at 1440 or 700??g/kg per day, respectively, for 14 days using osmotic minipumps. The aldosterone-treated mice were exposed to NaCl drinking water (1%) during the hormone administration. The arterial blood pressure was assessed using radiotelemetry. RESULTS:We observed that in the SPAK knock-in mice, the AngII-induced hypertensive effect was significantly reduced and associated with an absence of AngII-induced NCC phosphorylation. In contrast, the hypertensive effect of aldosterone was enhanced and was related with an increased response to amiloride, but not to thiazide-type diuretics, without a significant increase in NCC phosphorylation. CONCLUSION:Our data suggest that AngII-induced hypertension requires, at least partly, NCC activation via the WNK/SPAK signaling pathway, whereas aldosterone-induced hypertension depends on epithelial sodium channel activation in a WNK/SPAK-independent manner. SPAK knock-in mice emerge as a useful model to distinguish between the effects of AngII and aldosterone on distal nephrons.