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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2014 Apr;25(4):745-60. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2013050553. Epub 2013 Dec 12.

Claudin-14 underlies Ca⁺⁺-sensing receptor-mediated Ca⁺⁺ metabolism via NFAT-microRNA-based mechanisms.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Renal Division and.


Pathologic dysregulation of extracellular calcium metabolism is difficult to correct. The extracellular Ca(++)-sensing receptor (CaSR), a G protein-coupled receptor that regulates renal Ca(++) handling through changes in paracellular channel permeability in the thick ascending limb, has emerged as an effective pharmacological candidate for managing calcium metabolism. However, manipulation of CaSR at the systemic level causes promiscuous effects in the parathyroid glands, kidneys, and other tissues, and the mechanisms by which CaSR regulates paracellular transport in the kidney remain unknown. Here, we describe a CaSR-NFATc1-microRNA-claudin-14 signaling pathway in the kidney that underlies paracellular Ca(++) reabsorption through the tight junction. With CaSR-specific pharmacological reagents, we show that the in vivo gene expression of claudin-14 is regulated through a transcriptional mechanism mediated by NFATc1-microRNA and associated chromatin remodeling. Transgenic knockout and overexpression approaches showed that claudin-14 is required for CaSR-regulated renal Ca(++) metabolism. Together, our results define an important signaling cascade that, when dysregulated, may mediate Ca(++) imbalance through changes in tight junction permeability.

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