Regulation of potassium (K) handling in the renal collecting duct

Pflugers Arch. 2009 May;458(1):157-68. doi: 10.1007/s00424-008-0593-3. Epub 2008 Oct 7.


This review provides an overview of the molecular mechanisms of K transport in the mammalian connecting tubule (CNT) and cortical collecting duct (CCD), both nephron segments responsible for the regulation of renal K secretion. Aldosterone and dietary K intake are two of the most important factors regulating K secretion in the CNT and CCD. Recently, angiotensin II (AngII) has also been shown to play a role in the regulation of K secretion. In addition, genetic and molecular biological approaches have further identified new mechanisms by which aldosterone and dietary K intake regulate K transport. Thus, the interaction between serum-glucocorticoid-induced kinase 1 (SGK1) and with-no-lysine kinase 4 (WNK4) plays a significant role in mediating the effect of aldosterone on ROMK (Kir1.1), an important apical K channel modulating K secretion. Recent evidence suggests that WNK1, mitogen-activated protein kinases such as P38, ERK, and Src family protein tyrosine kinase are involved in mediating the effect of low K intake on apical K secretory channels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aldosterone / physiology
  • Angiotensin II / physiology
  • Animals
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / physiology
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / physiology
  • Immediate-Early Proteins / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules, Collecting / drug effects
  • Kidney Tubules, Collecting / metabolism*
  • Natriuretic Peptides / physiology
  • Potassium / metabolism*
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying / physiology
  • Potassium, Dietary / pharmacology*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / physiology
  • src-Family Kinases / physiology


  • Gastrointestinal Hormones
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • KCNJ1 protein, human
  • Natriuretic Peptides
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying
  • Potassium, Dietary
  • Angiotensin II
  • guanylin
  • uroguanylin
  • Aldosterone
  • src-Family Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • WNK4 protein, human
  • serum-glucocorticoid regulated kinase
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Potassium