NFAT5 regulates renal gene expression in response to angiotensin II through Annexin-A2-mediated posttranscriptional regulation in hypertensive rats

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2019 Jan 1;316(1):F101-F112. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00361.2018. Epub 2018 Oct 17.


The aim was to identify new targets that regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level in angiotensin II (ANGII)-mediated hypertension. Heparin affinity chromatography was used to enrich nucleic acid-binding proteins from kidneys of two-kidney, one-clip (2K1C) hypertensive Wistar rats. The experiment was repeated with 14-day ANGII infusion using Alzet osmotic mini pumps, with or without ANGII receptor AT1a inhibition using losartan in the drinking water. Mean arterial pressure increased after 2K1C or ANGII infusion and was inhibited with losartan. Heparin affinity chromatography and mass spectrometry were used to identify Annexin-A2 (ANXA2) as having differential nucleic acid-binding activity. Total Annexin-A2 protein expression was unchanged, whereas nucleic acid-binding activity was increased in both kidneys of 2K1C and after ANGII infusion through AT1a stimulation. Costaining of Annexin-A2 with α-smooth muscle actin and aquaporin 2 showed prominent expression in the endothelia of larger arteries and the cells of the inner medullary collecting duct. The nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) transcription factor was identified as a likely Annexin-A2 target using enrichment analysis on a 2K1C microarray data set and identifying several binding sites in the regulatory region of the mRNA. Expression analysis showed that ANGII increases NFAT5 protein but not mRNA level and, thus, indicated that NFAT5 is regulated by posttranscriptional regulation, which correlates with activation of the RNA-binding protein Annexin-A2. In conclusion, we show that ANGII increases Annexin-A2 nucleic acid-binding activity that correlates with elevated protein levels of the NFAT5 transcription factor. NFAT signaling appears to be a major contributor to renal gene regulation in high-renin states.

Keywords: NFAT; angiotensin II; annexin-A2; hypertension; kidney damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II*
  • Animals
  • Annexin A2 / genetics
  • Annexin A2 / metabolism*
  • Arterial Pressure*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hypertension / genetics
  • Hypertension / metabolism*
  • Hypertension / pathology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Male
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Agtr1a protein, rat
  • Annexin A2
  • Anxa2 protein, rat
  • Nfat5 protein, rat
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1
  • Transcription Factors
  • Angiotensin II