Urea movement across plasma membranes is modulated by specialized urea transporter proteins. These proteins are proposed to play key roles in the urinary concentrating mechanism and fluid homeostasis. To date, two urea-transporter genes have been cloned; UT-A (Slc14a2), encoding at least five proteins and UT-B (Slc14a1) encoding a single protein isoform. Recently we engineered mice that lack the inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) urea transporters, UT-A1 and UT-A3 (UT-A1/3 −/− mice). This article includes 1) a historical review of the role of renal urea transporters in renal function; 2) a review of our studies utilizing the UT-A1/3 −/− mice; 3) description of an additional line of transgenic mice in which beta-galactosidase expression is driven by the alpha-promoter of the UT-A gene, which is allowing better physiological definition of control mechanisms for UT-A expression; and 4) a discussion of the implications of the studies in transgenic mice for the teaching of kidney physiology.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 30, 2007
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