P2Y2R is a direct target of HIF-1α and mediates secretion-dependent cyst growth of renal cyst-forming epithelial cells

Purinergic Signal. 2016 Dec;12(4):687-695. doi: 10.1007/s11302-016-9532-5. Epub 2016 Aug 26.


Polycystic kidney diseases are characterized by numerous renal cysts that continuously enlarge resulting in compression of intact nephrons and tissue hypoxia. Recently, we have shown that hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α promotes secretion-dependent cyst expansion, presumably by transcriptional regulation of proteins that are involved in calcium-activated chloride secretion. Here, we report that HIF-1α directly activates expression of the purinergic receptor P2Y2R in human primary renal tubular cells. In addition, we found that P2Y2R is highly expressed in cyst-lining cells of human ADPKD kidneys as well as PKD1 orthologous mouse kidneys. Knockdown of P2Y2R in renal collecting duct cells inhibited calcium-dependent chloride secretion in Ussing chamber analyses. In line with these findings, knockdown of P2Y2R retarded cyst expansion in vitro and prevented ATP- and HIF-1α-dependent cyst growth. In conclusion, P2Y2R mediates ATP-dependent cyst growth and is transcriptionally regulated by HIF-1α. These findings provide further mechanistic evidence on how hypoxia promotes cyst growth.

Keywords: ATP; Chloride secretion; Cyst growth; HIF-1α; Hypoxia; P2Y2R; Polycystic kidney disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cysts / metabolism*
  • Cysts / pathology
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit / metabolism*
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / cytology
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2Y2 / metabolism*


  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit
  • P2RY2 protein, human
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2Y2