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.