Acetazolamide inhibits osmotic water permeability by interaction with aquaporin-1

Anal Biochem. 2006 Mar 15;350(2):165-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2006.01.003. Epub 2006 Jan 24.


Water channel proteins, known as aquaporins, are transmembrane proteins that mediate osmotic water permeability. In a previous study, we found that acetazolamide could inhibit osmotic water transportation across Xenopus oocytes by blocking the function of aquaporin-1 (AQP1). The purpose of the current study was to confirm the effect of acetazolamide on water osmotic permeability using the human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells transfected with pEGFP/AQP1 and to investigate the interaction between acetazolamide and AQP1. The fluorescence intensity of HEK293 cells transfected with pEGFP/AQP1, which corresponds to the cell volume when the cells swell in a hyposmotic solution, was recorded under confocal laser fluorescence microscopy. The osmotic water permeability was assessed by the change in the ratio of cell fluorescence to certain cell area. Acetazolamide, at concentrations of 1 and 10muM, inhibited the osmotic water permeability in HEK293 cells transfected with pEGFP/AQP1. The direct binding between acetazolamide and AQP1 was detected by surface plasmon resonance. AQP1 was prepared from rat red blood cells and immobilized on a CM5 chip. The binding assay showed that acetazolamide could directly interact with AQP1. This study demonstrated that acetazolamide inhibited osmotic water permeability through interaction with AQP1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetazolamide / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Aquaporin 1 / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane Permeability / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osmosis / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance
  • Transfection
  • Water / metabolism*


  • Water
  • Aquaporin 1
  • Acetazolamide