RhBG and RhCG, the putative ammonia transporters, are expressed in the same cells in the distal nephron

  • Quentin F
  • Eladari D
  • Cheval L
 et al. 
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Two nonerythroid homologs of the blood group Rh proteins, RhCG and RhBG, which share homologies with specific ammonia transporters in primitive organisms and plants, could represent members of a new family of proteins involved in ammonia transport in the mammalian kidney. Consistent with this hypothesis, the expression of RhCG was recently reported at the apical pole of all connecting tubule (CNT) cells as well as in intercalated cells of collecting duct (CD). To assess the localization along the nephron of RhBG, polyclonal antibodies against the Rh type B glycoprotein were generated. In immunoblot experiments, a specific polypeptide of Mr approximately 50 kD was detected in rat kidney cortex and in outer and inner medulla membrane fractions. Immunocytochemical studies revealed RhBG expression in distal nephron segments within the cortical labyrinth, medullary rays, and outer and inner medulla. RhBG expression was restricted to the basolateral membrane of epithelial cells. The same localization was observed in rat and mouse kidney. RT-PCR analysis on microdissected rat nephron segments confirmed that RhBG mRNAs were chiefly expressed in CNT and cortical and outer medullary CD. Double immunostaining with RhCG demonstrated that RhBG and RhCG were coexpressed in the same cells, but with a basolateral and apical localization, respectively. In conclusion, RhBG and RhCG are present in a major site of ammonia secretion in the kidney, i.e., the CNT and CD, in agreement with their putative role in ammonium transport

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  • Fabienne Quentin

  • Dominique Eladari

  • Lydie Cheval

  • Claude Lopez

  • Dominique Goossens

  • Yves Colin

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