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Histochem Cell Biol. 2005 Jun;123(6):553-9. Epub 2005 May 14.

Expression of the potassium channel ROMK in adult and fetal human kidney.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany. r.m.nuesing@med.uni-frankfurt.de

Abstract

The renal potassium channel ROMK is a crucial element of K+ recycling and secretion in the distal tubule and the collecting duct system. Mutations in the ROMK gene (KCNJ1) lead to hyperprostaglandin E syndrome/antenatal Bartter syndrome, a life-threatening hypokalemic disorder of the newborn. The localization of ROMK channel protein, however, remains unknown in humans. We generated an affinity-purified specific polyclonal anti-ROMK antibody raised against a C-terminal peptide of human ROMK. Immunoblotting revealed a 45 kDa protein band in both rat and human kidney tissue. In human kidney sections, the antibody showed intense staining of epithelial cells in the cortical and medullary thick ascending limb (TAL), the connecting tubule, and the collecting duct. Moreover, a strong expression of ROMK protein was detected in cells of the macula densa. In epithelial cells of the TAL expression of ROMK protein was mainly restricted to the apical membrane. In human fetal kidney expression of ROMK protein was detected mainly in distal tubules of mature nephrons but not or only marginally in the collecting system. No expression was found in early developmental stages such as comma or S shapes, indicating a differentiation-dependent expression of ROMK protein. In summary, these findings support the proposed role of ROMK channels in potassium recycling and in the regulation of K+ secretion and present a rationale for the phenotype observed in patients with ROMK deficiency.

PMID:
15895241
DOI:
10.1007/s00418-004-0742-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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