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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Sep 8;106(36):15501-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0904411106. Epub 2009 Aug 21.

Glut9 is a major regulator of urate homeostasis and its genetic inactivation induces hyperuricosuria and urate nephropathy.

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  • 1Mouse Metabolic Facility of the Cardiomet Center, University Hospital, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Elevated plasma urate levels are associated with metabolic, cardiovascular, and renal diseases. Urate may also form crystals, which can be deposited in joints causing gout and in kidney tubules inducing nephrolithiasis. In mice, plasma urate levels are controlled by hepatic breakdown, as well as, by incompletely understood renal processes of reabsorption and secretion. Here, we investigated the role of the recently identified urate transporter, Glut9, in the physiological control of urate homeostasis using mice with systemic or liver-specific inactivation of the Glut9 gene. We show that Glut9 is expressed in the basolateral membrane of hepatocytes and in both apical and basolateral membranes of the distal nephron. Mice with systemic knockout of Glut9 display moderate hyperuricemia, massive hyperuricosuria, and an early-onset nephropathy, characterized by obstructive lithiasis, tubulointerstitial inflammation, and progressive inflammatory fibrosis of the cortex, as well as, mild renal insufficiency. In contrast, liver-specific inactivation of the Glut9 gene in adult mice leads to severe hyperuricemia and hyperuricosuria, in the absence of urate nephropathy or any structural abnormality of the kidney. Together, our data show that Glut9 plays a major role in urate homeostasis by its dual role in urate handling in the kidney and uptake in the liver.

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