Proximal tubular phosphate reabsorption: molecular mechanisms

Physiol Rev. 2000 Oct;80(4):1373-409. doi: 10.1152/physrev.2000.80.4.1373.


Renal proximal tubular reabsorption of P(i) is a key element in overall P(i) homeostasis, and it involves a secondary active P(i) transport mechanism. Among the molecularly identified sodium-phosphate (Na/P(i)) cotransport systems a brush-border membrane type IIa Na-P(i) cotransporter is the key player in proximal tubular P(i) reabsorption. Physiological and pathophysiological alterations in renal P(i) reabsorption are related to altered brush-border membrane expression/content of the type IIa Na-P(i) cotransporter. Complex membrane retrieval/insertion mechanisms are involved in modulating transporter content in the brush-border membrane. In a tissue culture model (OK cells) expressing intrinsically the type IIa Na-P(i) cotransporter, the cellular cascades involved in "physiological/pathophysiological" control of P(i) reabsorption have been explored. As this cell model offers a "proximal tubular" environment, it is useful for characterization (in heterologous expression studies) of the cellular/molecular requirements for transport regulation. Finally, the oocyte expression system has permitted a thorough characterization of the transport characteristics and of structure/function relationships. Thus the cloning of the type IIa Na-P(i )cotransporter (in 1993) provided the tools to study renal brush-border membrane Na-P(i) cotransport function/regulation at the cellular/molecular level as well as at the organ level and led to an understanding of cellular mechanisms involved in control of proximal tubular P(i) handling and, thus, of overall P(i) homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorption / physiology
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport, Active / physiology
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Electrophysiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Microvilli / metabolism
  • Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Secondary / genetics
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sodium-Phosphate Cotransporter Proteins
  • Sodium-Phosphate Cotransporter Proteins, Type IIa
  • Symporters*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Phosphates
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Slc34a1 protein, mouse
  • Slc34a1 protein, rat
  • Sodium-Phosphate Cotransporter Proteins
  • Sodium-Phosphate Cotransporter Proteins, Type IIa
  • Symporters