Special Issue "Aquaporins 2019"

A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Kenichi Ishibashi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Medical Physiology, School of Pharmacy, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, 2-522-1 Noshio, Kiyose, Tokyo, 204–8588, Japan
Tel. +81-42-495-8502; Fax: +81-42-495-8502
Interests: transporter; channel; electrolyte homeostasis; nephrology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Aquaporins are ancient channels with a highly conserved internal-repeat structure, which primarily transport water as well as other small solutes such as glycerol and superoxide, or even gases. They are widely studied in biology and mostly function to adapt to the environment, especially water stress. They also play important roles in the field of agriculture and medicine.

This Special Issue welcomes original research and review papers addressing every aspect of aquaporins, including function and regulation in biology and medicine. Hopefully, interdisciplinary applications of the knowledge will stimulate future research.

Prof. Kenichi Ishibashi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • aquaporin
  • water metabolism and urine concentration
  • dehydration and osmotic stress
  • free radical and inflammation
  • glycerol (fat) metabolism and energy balance
  • cell movement and metastasis
  • evolution and coevolution
  • prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
  • structure–function relationship

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Phosphorylation of TIP3 Aquaporins during Phaseolus vulgaris Embryo Development
Cells 2019, 8(11), 1362; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8111362 - 31 Oct 2019
Abstract
The membrane phosphoproteome in plant seed changes dynamically during embryo development. We examined the patterns of Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean) seed membrane protein phosphorylation from the mid-maturation stage until two days after germination. Serine and threonine phosphorylation declined during seed maturation while tyrosine [...] Read more.
The membrane phosphoproteome in plant seed changes dynamically during embryo development. We examined the patterns of Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean) seed membrane protein phosphorylation from the mid-maturation stage until two days after germination. Serine and threonine phosphorylation declined during seed maturation while tyrosine phosphorylation remained relatively constant. We discovered that the aquaporin PvTIP3;1 is the primary seed membrane phosphoprotein, and PvTIP3;2 shows a very low level of expression. The level of phosphorylated Ser7 in PvTIP3;1 increased four-fold after seed maturation. Since phosphorylation increases water channel activity, we infer that water transport by PvTIP3;1 is highest in dry and germinating seeds, which would be optimal for seed imbibition. By the use of isoform-specific, polyclonal peptide antibodies, we found that PvTIP3;2 is expressed in a developmental pattern similar to PvTIP3;1. Unexpectedly, PvTIP3;2 is tyrosine phosphorylated following seed maturation, which may suggest a mechanism for the regulation of PvTIP3;2 following seed germination. Analysis of protein secondary structure by circular dichroism spectroscopy indicated that the amino-terminal domain of PvTIP3;1 is generally unstructured, and phosphorylation increases polyproline II (PPII) helical structure. The carboxy-terminal domain also gains PPII character, but in a pH-dependent manner. These structural changes are a first step to understand TIP3 aquaporin regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporins 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Co-Translational Insertion of Aquaporins into Liposome for Functional Analysis via an E. coli Based Cell-Free Protein Synthesis System
Cells 2019, 8(11), 1325; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8111325 - 27 Oct 2019
Abstract
Aquaporins are important and well-studied water channel membrane proteins. However, being membrane proteins, sample preparation for functional analysis is tedious and time-consuming. In this paper, we report a new approach for the co-translational insertion of two aquaporins from Escherichia coli and Nicotiana tabacum [...] Read more.
Aquaporins are important and well-studied water channel membrane proteins. However, being membrane proteins, sample preparation for functional analysis is tedious and time-consuming. In this paper, we report a new approach for the co-translational insertion of two aquaporins from Escherichia coli and Nicotiana tabacum using the CFPS system. This was done in the presence of liposomes with a modified procedure to form homogenous proteo-liposomes suitable for functional analysis of water permeability using stopped-flow spectrophotometry. Two model aquaporins, AqpZ and NtPIP2;1, were successfully incorporated into the liposome in their active forms. Shifted green fluorescent protein was fused to the C-terminal part of AqpZ to monitor its insertion and status in the lipid environment. This new fast approach offers a fast and straightforward method for the functional analysis of aquaporins in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporins 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Maternal Protein Restriction Modulates Angiogenesis and AQP9 Expression Leading to a Delay in Postnatal Epididymal Development in Rat
Cells 2019, 8(9), 1094; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8091094 - 17 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The maternal nutritional status is essential to the health and well-being of the fetus. Maternal protein restriction during the perinatal stage causes sperm alterations in the offspring that are associated with epididymal dysfunctions. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor, VEGFr-2, as [...] Read more.
The maternal nutritional status is essential to the health and well-being of the fetus. Maternal protein restriction during the perinatal stage causes sperm alterations in the offspring that are associated with epididymal dysfunctions. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor, VEGFr-2, as well as aquaporins (AQPs) are important regulators of angiogenesis and the epididymal microenvironment and are associated with male fertility. We investigated the effects of maternal protein restriction on epididymal angiogenesis and AQP expression in the early stages of postnatal epididymal development. Pregnant rats were divided into two experimental groups that received either a normoprotein (17% protein) or low-protein diet (6% protein) during gestation and lactation. At postnatal day (PND)7 and PND14, male offspring were euthanized, the epididymides were subjected to morphometric and microvascular density analyses and to VEGF-A, VEGF-r2, AQP1 and AQP9 expression analyses. The maternal low-protein diet decreased AQP9 and VEGFr-2 expression, decreased epididymal microvascularity and altered the morphometric features of the epididymal epithelium; no changes in AQP1 expression were observed at the beginning of postnatal epididymal development. Maternal protein restriction alters microvascularization and affects molecules involved in the epidydimal microenvironment, resulting in morphometric alterations related to a delay in the beginning of epididymis postnatal development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporins 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Differential Expression and Localization of Branchial AQP1 and AQP3 in Japanese Medaka (Oryzias latipes)
Cells 2019, 8(5), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8050422 - 08 May 2019
Abstract
Aquaporins (AQPs) facilitate transmembrane water and solute transport, and in addition to contributing to transepithelial water transport, they safeguard cell volume homeostasis. This study examined the expression and localization of AQP1 and AQP3 in the gills of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) in [...] Read more.
Aquaporins (AQPs) facilitate transmembrane water and solute transport, and in addition to contributing to transepithelial water transport, they safeguard cell volume homeostasis. This study examined the expression and localization of AQP1 and AQP3 in the gills of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) in response to osmotic challenges and osmoregulatory hormones, cortisol, and prolactin (PRL). AQP3 mRNA was inversely regulated in response to salinity with high levels in ion-poor water (IPW), intermediate levels in freshwater (FW), and low levels in seawater (SW). AQP3 protein levels decreased upon SW acclimation. By comparison, AQP1 expression was unaffected by salinity. In ex vivo gill incubation experiments, AQP3 mRNA was stimulated by PRL in a time- and dose-dependent manner but was unaffected by cortisol. In contrast, AQP1 was unaffected by both PRL and cortisol. Confocal microscopy revealed that AQP3 was abundant in the periphery of gill filament epithelial cells and co-localized at low intensity with Na+,K+-ATPase in ionocytes. AQP1 was present at a very low intensity in most filament epithelial cells and red blood cells. No epithelial cells in the gill lamellae showed immunoreactivity to AQP3 or AQP1. We suggest that both AQPs contribute to cellular volume regulation in the gill epithelium and that AQP3 is particularly important under hypo-osmotic conditions, while expression of AQP1 is constitutive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporins 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
AQP1-Containing Exosomes in Peritoneal Dialysis Effluent As Biomarker of Dialysis Efficiency
Cells 2019, 8(4), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8040330 - 09 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The water channel Aquaporin 1 (AQP1) plays a fundamental role in water ultrafiltration during peritoneal dialysis (PD) and its reduced expression or function may be responsible for ultrafiltration failure (UFF). In humans, AQP1 is expressed in the endothelium of the peritoneal capillaries but [...] Read more.
The water channel Aquaporin 1 (AQP1) plays a fundamental role in water ultrafiltration during peritoneal dialysis (PD) and its reduced expression or function may be responsible for ultrafiltration failure (UFF). In humans, AQP1 is expressed in the endothelium of the peritoneal capillaries but its expression in mesothelial cells (MC) and its functional role in PD is still being debated. Here, we studied a cohort of 30 patients using PD in order to determine the presence of AQP1 in peritoneal biopsies, AQP1 release in the PD effluent through exosomes and the correlation of AQP1 abundance with the efficiency of peritoneal ultrafiltration. The experiments using immunofluorescence showed a strong expression of AQP1 in MCs. Immunoblotting analysis on vesicles isolated from PD effluents showed a consistent presence of AQP1, mesothelin and Alix and the absence of the CD31. Thus, this suggests that they have an exclusive mesothelial origin. The immunoTEM analysis showed a homogeneous population of nanovesicles and confirmed the immunoblotting results. Interestingly, the quantitative analysis by ELISA showed a positive correlation between AQP1 in the PD effluent and ultrafiltration (UF), free water transport (FWT) and Na-sieving. This evidence opens the discussion on the functional role of mesothelial AQP1 during PD and suggests that it may represent a potential non-invasive biomarker of peritoneal barrier integrity, with predictive potential of UFF in PD patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporins 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
The Deubiquitylase USP4 Interacts with the Water Channel AQP2 to Modulate Its Apical Membrane Accumulation and Cellular Abundance
Cells 2019, 8(3), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8030265 - 21 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Aquaporin 2 (AQP2) mediates the osmotic water permeability of the kidney collecting duct in response to arginine vasopressin (VP) and is essential for body water homeostasis. VP effects on AQP2 occur via long-term alterations in AQP2 abundance and short-term changes in AQP2 localization. [...] Read more.
Aquaporin 2 (AQP2) mediates the osmotic water permeability of the kidney collecting duct in response to arginine vasopressin (VP) and is essential for body water homeostasis. VP effects on AQP2 occur via long-term alterations in AQP2 abundance and short-term changes in AQP2 localization. Several of the effects of VP on AQP2 are dependent on AQP2 phosphorylation and ubiquitylation; post-translational modifications (PTM) that modulate AQP2 subcellular distribution and function. Although several protein kinases, phosphatases, and ubiquitin E3 ligases have been implicated in AQP2 PTM, how AQP2 is deubiquitylated or the role of deubiquitylases (DUBS) in AQP2 function is unknown. Here, we report a novel role of the ubiquitin-specific protease USP4 in modulating AQP2 function. USP4 co-localized with AQP2 in the mouse kidney, and in mpkCCD14 cells USP4 and AQP2 abundance are increased by VP. AQP2 and USP4 co-immunoprecipitated from mpkCCD14 cells and mouse kidney, and in vitro, USP4 can deubiquitylate AQP2. In mpkCCD14 cells, shRNA mediated knockdown of USP4 decreased AQP2 protein abundance, whereas no changes in AQP2 mRNA levels or VP-induced cAMP production were detected. VP-induced AQP2 membrane accumulation in knockdown cells was significantly reduced, which was associated with higher levels of ubiquitylated AQP2. AQP2 protein half-life was also significantly reduced in USP4 knockdown cells. Taken together, the data suggest that USP4 is a key regulator of AQP2 deubiquitylation and that loss of USP4 leads to increased AQP2 ubiquitylation, decreased AQP2 levels, and decreased cell surface AQP2 accumulation upon VP treatment. These studies have implications for understanding body water homeostasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporins 2019)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Prokaryotic Aquaporins
Cells 2019, 8(11), 1316; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8111316 - 24 Oct 2019
Abstract
Aquaporins are integral membrane proteins that facilitate the diffusion of water and other small, uncharged solutes across the cellular membrane and are widely distributed in organisms from humans to bacteria. However, the characteristics of prokaryotic aquaporins remain largely unknown. We investigated the distribution [...] Read more.
Aquaporins are integral membrane proteins that facilitate the diffusion of water and other small, uncharged solutes across the cellular membrane and are widely distributed in organisms from humans to bacteria. However, the characteristics of prokaryotic aquaporins remain largely unknown. We investigated the distribution and sequence characterization of aquaporins in prokaryotic organisms and summarized the transport characteristics, physiological functions, and regulatory mechanisms of prokaryotic aquaporins. Aquaporin homologues were identified in 3315 prokaryotic genomes retrieved from the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database, but the protein clustering pattern is not completely congruent with the phylogeny of the species that carry them. Moreover, prokaryotic aquaporins display diversified aromatic/arginine constriction region (ar/R) amino acid compositions, implying multiple functions. The typical water and glycerol transport characterization, physiological functions, and regulations have been extensively studied in Escherichia coli AqpZ and GlpF. A Streptococcus aquaporin has recently been verified to facilitate the efflux of endogenous H2O2, which not only contributes to detoxification but also to species competitiveness, improving our understanding of prokaryotic aquaporins. Furthermore, recent studies revealed novel regulatory mechanisms of prokaryotic aquaporins at post-translational level. Thus, we propose that intensive investigation on prokaryotic aquaporins would extend the functional categories and working mechanisms of these ubiquitous, intrinsic membrane proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporins 2019)
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