Vasopressin or AVP regulates water reabsorption by the kidney inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) through the insertion and removal of aquaporin (AQP) 2 water channels into the IMCD apical membrane. AVP-elicited trafficking of AQP2 with the apical membrane occurs via a specialized population of vesicles that resemble synaptic vesicles in neurons. AQP2 vesicles and the IMCD apical membrane contain homologs of vesicle-targeting and signal transduction proteins found in neurons. Expression studies of AQP2, including human AQP2 mutants, suggest that the carboxyl-terminal domain of AQP2 is important in AQP2 trafficking, particularly as a site for cAMP-dependent protein kinase phosphorylation. These present data reveal that IMCD cells possess a complex integrated-signaling and vesicle-trafficking machinery that provides integration of AVP-elicited water transport with many other parameters within the IMCD cell as well as kidney.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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