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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2010 Dec;299(6):F1339-47. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00077.2010. Epub 2010 Sep 1.

The transcription factor HNF1α regulates expression of chloride-proton exchanger ClC-5 in the renal proximal tubule.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


The Cl(-)/H(+) exchanger ClC-5 is essential for the endocytic activity of the proximal tubule cells and the tubular clearance of proteins filtered in the glomeruli. The mechanisms that regulate the expression of ClC-5 in general and its specific expression in the proximal tubule are unknown. In this study, we investigated the hypothesis that the hepatocyte nuclear transcription factor HNF1α, which is predominantly expressed in proximal tubule segments, may directly regulate the expression of ClC-5. In situ hybridization demonstrated that the expression of Clcn5 overlaps with that of Hnf1α in the developing kidney as well as in absorptive epithelia, including the digestive tract and yolk sac. Multiple binding sites for HNF1 were mapped in the 5'-regulatory sequences of the mouse and human Clcn5/CLCN5 genes. The transactivation of the Clcn5/CLCN5 promoter by HNF1α was verified in vitro, and the binding of HNF1α to the Clcn5 promoter in vivo was confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation in mouse kidney. The expression of Clcn5 was reduced in the proximal tubule segments of HNF1α-null kidneys, and it was rescued upon transfection of HNF1α-null cells with wild-type but not with mutant HNF1α. These data demonstrate that HNF1α directly regulates the expression of ClC-5 in the renal proximal tubule and yield insights into the mechanisms governing epithelial differentiation and specialized transport activities in the kidney.

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