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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2001 Feb;280(2):F303-13.

SGK integrates insulin and mineralocorticoid regulation of epithelial sodium transport.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, and Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco 94143, USA.


The epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) constitutes the rate-limiting step for Na+ transport across tight epithelia and is the principal target of hormonal regulation, particularly by insulin and mineralocorticoids. Recently, the serine-threonine kinase (SGK) was identified as a rapidly mineralocorticoid-responsive gene, the product of which stimulates ENaC-mediated Na+ transport. Like its close relative, protein kinase B (also called Akt), SGK's kinase activity is dependent on phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), a key mediator of insulin signaling. In our study we show that PI3K is required for SGK-dependent stimulation of ENaC-mediated Na+ transport as well as for the production of the phosphorylated form of SGK. In A6 kidney cells, mineralocorticoid induction of the phosphorylated form of SGK preceded the increase in Na+ transport, and specific inhibition of PI3K inhibited both phosphorylation of SGK and mineralocorticoid-induced Na+ transport. Insulin both augmented SGK phosphorylation and synergized with mineralocorticoids in stimulating Na+ transport. In a Xenopus laevis oocyte coexpression assay, SGK-stimulated ENaC activity was also markedly reduced by PI3K inhibition. Finally, in vitro-translated SGK specifically interacted with the ENaC subunits expressed in Escherichia coli as glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins. These data suggest that SGK is a PI3K-dependent integrator of insulin and mineralocorticoid actions that interacts with ENaC subunits to control Na+ entry into kidney collecting duct cells.

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