LRBA is essential for urinary concentration and body water homeostasis

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Jul 26;119(30):e2202125119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2202125119. Epub 2022 Jul 21.


Protein kinase A (PKA) directly phosphorylates aquaporin-2 (AQP2) water channels in renal collecting ducts to reabsorb water from urine for the maintenance of systemic water homeostasis. More than 50 functionally distinct PKA-anchoring proteins (AKAPs) respectively create compartmentalized PKA signaling to determine the substrate specificity of PKA. Identification of an AKAP responsible for AQP2 phosphorylation is an essential step toward elucidating the molecular mechanisms of urinary concentration. PKA activation by several compounds is a novel screening strategy to uncover PKA substrates whose phosphorylation levels were nearly perfectly correlated with that of AQP2. The leading candidate in this assay proved to be an AKAP termed lipopolysaccharide-responsive and beige-like anchor protein (LRBA). We found that LRBA colocalized with AQP2 in vivo, and Lrba knockout mice displayed a polyuric phenotype with severely impaired AQP2 phosphorylation. Most of the PKA substrates other than AQP2 were adequately phosphorylated by PKA in the absence of LRBA, demonstrating that LRBA-anchored PKA preferentially phosphorylated AQP2 in renal collecting ducts. Furthermore, the LRBA-PKA interaction, rather than other AKAP-PKA interactions, was robustly dissociated by PKA activation. AKAP-PKA interaction inhibitors have attracted attention for their ability to directly phosphorylate AQP2. Therefore, the LRBA-PKA interaction is a promising drug target for the development of anti-aquaretics.

Keywords: AKAP; AQP2; LRBA; PKA; urinary concentration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • A Kinase Anchor Proteins / genetics
  • A Kinase Anchor Proteins / metabolism
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing* / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing* / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Aquaporin 2* / genetics
  • Aquaporin 2* / metabolism
  • Body Water* / metabolism
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Mice
  • Phosphorylation


  • A Kinase Anchor Proteins
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Aqp2 protein, mouse
  • Aquaporin 2
  • Lrba protein, mouse
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases