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Kidney Int. 1996 Jun;49(6):1712-7.

Renal aquaporins.

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Laboratory of Kidney and Electrolyte Metabolism, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Aquaporins (AQPs) are a newly recognized family of transmembrane proteins that function as molecular water channels. At least four aquaporins are expressed in the kidney where they mediate rapid water transport across water-permeable epithelia and play critical roles in urinary concentrating and diluting processes. AQP1 is constitutively expressed at extremely high levels in the proximal tubule and descending limb of Henle's loop. AQP2, -3 and -4 are expressed predominantly in the collecting duct system. AQP2 is the predominant water channel in the apical plasma membrane and AQP3 and -4 are found in the basolateral plasma membrane. Short-term regulation of collecting duct water permeability by vasopressin is largely a consequence of regulated trafficking of AQP2-containing vesicles to and from the apical plasma membrane.

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