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Biol Open. 2012 Feb 15;1(2):101-8. doi: 10.1242/bio.2011042. Epub 2011 Nov 4.

AQP2 is necessary for vasopressin- and forskolin-mediated filamentous actin depolymerization in renal epithelial cells.

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Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Systems Biology, Program in Membrane Biology and Nephrology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School , Boston, Massachusetts , USA.


Remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton is required for vasopressin (VP)-induced aquaporin 2 (AQP2) trafficking. Here, we asked whether VP and forskolin (FK)-mediated F-actin depolymerization depends on AQP2 expression. Using various MDCK and LLC-PK1 cell lines with different AQP2 expression levels, we performed F-actin quantification and immunofluorescence staining after VP/FK treatment. In MDCK cells, in which AQP2 is delivered apically, VP/FK mediated F-actin depolymerization was significantly correlated with AQP2 expression levels. A decrease of apical membrane associated F-actin was observed upon VP/FK treatment in AQP2 transfected, but not in untransfected cells. There was no change in basolateral actin staining under these conditions. In LLC-PK(1) cells, which deliver AQP2 basolaterally, a significant VP/FK mediated decrease in F-actin was also detected only in AQP2 transfected cells. This depolymerization response to VP/FK was significantly reduced by siRNA knockdown of AQP2. By immunofluorescence, an inverse relationship between plasma membrane AQP2 and membrane-associated F-actin was observed after VP/FK treatment again only in AQP2 transfected cells. This is the first report showing that VP/FK mediated F-actin depolymerization is dependent on AQP2 protein expression in renal epithelial cells, and that this is not dependent on the polarity of AQP2 membrane insertion.


AQP2; Actin cytoskeleton; Vasopressin

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