Mitogen-activated protein kinases inhibit the ROMK (Kir 1.1)-like small conductance K channels in the cortical collecting duct

Elisa Babilonia, Dimin Li, Zhijian Wang, Peng Sun, Dao Hong Lin, Yan Jin, Wen Hui Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


It was demonstrated previously that low dietary potassium (K) intake stimulates Src family protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) expression via a superoxide-dependent signaling. This study explored the role of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in mediating the effect of superoxide anions on PTK expression and ROMK (Kir 1.1) channel activity. Western blot analysis demonstrated that low K intake significantly increased the phosphorylation of P38 MAPK (P38) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) but had no effect on phosphorylation of c-JUN N-terminus kinase in renal cortex and outer medulla. The stimulatory effect of low K intake on P38 and ERK was abolished by treatment of rats with tempol. The possibility that increases in superoxide and related products that are induced by low K intake were responsible for stimulating phosphorylation of P38 and ERK also was supported by the finding that application of H2O2 increased the phosphorylation of ERK and P38 in the cultured mouse collecting duct cells. Simultaneous blocking of ERK and P38 completely abolished the effect of H 2O2 on c-Src expression in mouse collecting duct cells. For determination of the role of P38 and ERK in the regulation of ROMK-like small-conductance K (SK) channels, the patch-clamp technique was used to study the effect of inhibiting P38 and ERK on SK channels in the cortical collecting duct from rats that were on a control K diet (1.1%) and on a K-deficient diet for 1 d. Inhibition of ERK, c-JUN N-terminus kinase, or P38 alone had no effect on SK channels. In contrast, simultaneous inhibition of P38 and ERK significantly increased channel activity. The effect of inhibiting MAPK on SK channels was not affected in the presence of herbimycin A, a PTK inhibitor, and was larger in rats that were on a K-deficient diet than in rats that were on a normal-K diet. However, the stimulatory effect of inhibiting ERK and P38 on SK was absent in the cortical collecting duct that was treated with colchicine. It is concluded that low K intake-induced increases in superoxide levels are responsible for stimulation of P38 and ERK and that MAPK inhibit the SK channels by stimulating PTK expression and via a PTK-independent mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2687-2696
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


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