Renal Physiology

Dynamics of aquaporin-2 serine-261 phosphorylation in response to short-term vasopressin treatment in collecting duct

Jason D. Hoffert, Jakob Nielsen, Ming-Jiun Yu, Trairak Pisitkun, Stephen M. Schleicher, Soren Nielsen, Mark A. Knepper


We recently identified a novel phosphorylation site, serine-261 (pS261), in the COOH-terminus of the vasopressin-regulated water channel, aquaporin-2 (AQP2). To address whether phosphorylation at this site is regulated by vasopressin, a rabbit polyclonal phospho-specific antibody was generated. Dot blot and immunoblot analysis demonstrated that this antibody specifically recognizes AQP2 phosphorylated at pS261, and that phosphorylation of S256 (pS256), a site already known to be regulated by vasopressin, does not interfere with antibody recognition. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed intense pS261 labeling of inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) from wild-type mice, while sections from AQP2 knockout animals showed a general absence of labeling. AQP2 pS261 was present in principal cells of all mouse and rat distal tubule segments from the connecting tubule to the terminal IMCD. Co-immunolabeling of collecting duct with phospho-specific and total AQP2 antibodies revealed that pS261 and pS256 have distinct subcellular distributions. Levels of pS256 increased, while the amount of pS261 significantly decreased in freshly isolated rat IMCD samples incubated with 1 nM [deamino-Cys1,d-Arg8]vasopressin for 30 min. Similarly, based on immunohistochemical labeling, the amount of pS261 was reduced in all collecting duct segments of Brattleboro rats treated with [deamino-Cys1,d-Arg8]vasopressin for 2 h. This study reveals a reciprocal change in S256 and S261 phosphorylation in response to short-term vasopressin exposure, suggesting that these residues may serve distinct roles in regulation of AQP2 subcellular distribution and collecting duct water permeability.

  • IMCD
  • water transport
  • serine-256
  • channel
  • inner medullary
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