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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Oct;12(8):341-7.

The role of SGK1 in hormone-regulated sodium transport.

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Division of Nephrology, Dept of Medicine, Box 0532, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

Erratum in

  • Trends Endocrinol Metab 2001 Dec;12(10):479.


Ion transport in epithelia is regulated by a variety of hormonal and nonhormonal factors, including mineralocorticoids, insulin, shear stress and osmotic pressure. In mammals, the mineralocorticoid aldosterone is the principal regulator of sodium homeostasis and hence is central to the control of extracellular fluid volume and blood pressure. Aldosterone acts through a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily, the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), to control the transcriptional activity of specific target genes. Recently, a serine/threonine kinase, SGK1 (serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase isoform 1) was identified as a candidate mediator of aldosterone action in the colon and distal nephron. The aldosterone-activated MR increases SGK1 gene transcription and SGK1, in turn, strongly stimulates the activity of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC). Interestingly, other factors appear to regulate SGK1 gene expression and kinase activity. Insulin, for example, stimulates SGK1 activity (but not gene transcription) through its effects on phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase and osmotic shock appears to stimulate both SGK1 activity and gene transcription. Hence, SGK1 might integrate the effects of multiple hormonal and nonhormonal regulators of Na(+) transport in tight epithelia and thereby play a key role in volume homeostasis. It is interesting to speculate that SGK1 might be implicated in medical conditions, such as the insulin resistance syndrome, hypertension and congestive heart failure.

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