Renal Atp6ap2/(Pro)renin Receptor Is Required for Normal Vacuolar H+-ATPase Function but Not for the Renin-Angiotensin System

J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016 Nov;27(11):3320-3330. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2015080915. Epub 2016 Apr 4.


ATPase H+-transporting lysosomal accessory protein 2 (Atp6ap2), also known as the (pro)renin receptor, is a type 1 transmembrane protein and an accessory subunit of the vacuolar H+-ATPase (V-ATPase) that may also function within the renin-angiotensin system. However, the contribution of Atp6ap2 to renin-angiotensin-dependent functions remains unconfirmed. Using mice with an inducible conditional deletion of Atp6ap2 in mouse renal epithelial cells, we found that decreased V-ATPase expression and activity in the intercalated cells of the collecting duct impaired acid-base regulation by the kidney. In addition, these mice suffered from marked polyuria resistant to desmopressin administration. Immunoblotting revealed downregulation of the medullary Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter NKCC2 in these mice compared with wild-type mice, an effect accompanied by a hypotonic medullary interstitium and impaired countercurrent multiplication. This phenotype correlated with strong autophagic defects in epithelial cells of medullary tubules. Notably, cells with high accumulation of the autophagosomal substrate p62 displayed the strongest reduction of NKCC2 expression. Finally, nephron-specific Atp6ap2 depletion did not affect angiotensin II production, angiotensin II-dependent BP regulation, or sodium handling in the kidney. Taken together, our results show that nephron-specific deletion of Atp6ap2 does not affect the renin-angiotensin system but causes a combination of renal concentration defects and distal renal tubular acidosis as a result of impaired V-ATPase activity.

Keywords: Cell & Transport Physiology; acidosis; balance; cell biology and structure; water-electrolyte.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Kidney / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Proton-Translocating ATPases / physiology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / physiology*
  • Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases / physiology*


  • ATP6AP2 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases
  • Proton-Translocating ATPases