Renal Tubular Transport and the Genetic Basis of Hypertensive Disease

Clin Exp Nephrol. 2005 Jun;9(2):91-9. doi: 10.1007/s10157-005-0355-x.

Abstract

Several monogenic hypertensive disorders are caused by genetic mutations leading to the deranged function and/or regulation of renal tubular NaCl transport, such as mutations of the renal epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) in Liddle syndrome, of the kinase WNK1 (with no K) in Gordon syndrome, and of the mineralocorticoid receptor, or of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Moreover, excessive formation of aldosterone in glucocorticoid-remediable hypertension leads to severe hypertension. Conversely, impaired function of the Na+,K+,2Cl- cotransporter (NKCC2), the renal outer medullary K+ channel (ROMK1), and the renal epithelial Cl- channel ClCKb/Barttin causes Bartter syndrome and defective Na+,Cl+ cotransporter (NCCT) Gitelman syndrome, salt-wasting disorders with hypotension. These monogenic disorders are rare, but illustrate the significance of renal tubular transport in blood pressure regulation. There is little doubt, however, that deranged renal salt reabsorption significantly contributes to essential hypertension polymorphisms of several genes participating in the regulation of renal Na+ transport have been shown to be associated with blood pressure and prevalence of hypertension. Two common genes will be discussed in more detail. The first encodes the renal Cl- channel ClCKb. A gain-of-function mutation of ClCKb, increasing channel activity by 7- to 20-fold is found in approximately 20% of unselected Caucasians and 40% of an unselected African population. The second common gene variant (prevalence, 3%-5% in unselected Caucasians), to be discussed in more detail, affects the serum and glucocorticoid inducible kinase SGK1, a kinase upregulated by mineralocorticoids and enhancing the activity of ENaC, ROMK, and Na+/K+ATPase. Both gene variants are associated with slightly increased blood pressure. SGK1 further stimulates the glucose transporter SGLT1, and the SGK1 gene variant correlates, in addition, with increased body mass index.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Renal / genetics*
  • Hypertension, Renal / metabolism*
  • Ion Channels / genetics*
  • Ion Channels / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules / metabolism*

Substances

  • Carrier Proteins
  • Ion Channels