Bayesian identification of candidate transcription factors for the regulation of Aqp2 gene expression

Hiroaki Kikuchi, Hyun Jun Jung, Viswanathan Raghuram, Kirby T. Leo, Euijung Park, Chin Rang Yang, Chun Lin Chou, Lihe Chen, Mark A. Knepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aquaporin-2 (Aqp2) gene transcription is strongly regulated by vasopressin in the renal collecting duct. However, the transcription factors (TFs) responsible for the regulation of expression of Aqp2 remain largely unknown. We used Bayes theorem to integrate several-omics data sets to stratify the 1,344 TFs present in the mouse genome with regard to probabilities of regulating Aqp2 gene transcription. Also, we carried out new RNA sequencing experiments mapping the time course of vasopressininduced changes in the transcriptome of mpkCCD cells to identify TFs that change in tandem with Aqp2. The analysis identified 17 of 1,344 TFs that are most likely to be involved in the regulation of Aqp2 gene transcription. These TFs included eight that have been proposed in prior studies to play a role in Aqp2 regulation, viz., Cebpb, Elf1, Elf3, Ets1, Jun, Junb, Nfkb1, and Sp1. The remaining nine represent new candidates for future studies (Atf1, Irf3, Klf5, Klf6, Mef2d, Nfyb, Nr2f6, Stat3, and Nr4a1). Conspicuously absent is CREB (Creb1), which has been widely proposed to mediate vasopressin-induced regulation of Aqp2 gene transcription (Nielsen S, Frokiaer J, Marples D, Kwon TH, Agre P, Knepper MA. Physiol Rev 82: 205 244, 2002; Kortenoeven ML, Fenton RA. Biochim Biophys Acta 1840: 1533 1549, 2014; Bockenhauer D, Bichet DG. Nat Rev Nephrol 11: 576 588, 2015; Pearce D, Soundararajan R, Trimpert C, Kashlan OB, Deen PM, Kohan DE. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 10: 135 146, 2015). Instead, another CREB-like TF, Atf1, ranked fourth among all TFs. RNA sequencing time-course experiments showed a rapid increase in Aqp2 mRNA, within 3 h of vasopressin exposure. This response was matched by an equally rapid increase in the abundance of the mRNA coding for Cebpb, which we have shown by chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing studies to bind downstream from the Aqp2 gene. The identified TFs provide a roadmap for future studies to understand regulation of Aqp2 gene expression. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Abetted by the advent of systems biology-based ("-omics") techniques in the 21st century, there has been a massive expansion of published data relevant to virtually every physiological question. The authors have developed a large-scale data integration approach based on the application of Bayes ' theorem. In the current work, they integrated 12 different-omics data sets to identify the transcription factors most likely to mediate vasopressin-dependent regulation of transcription of the aquaporin-2 gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F389-F401
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Bayes theorem
  • aquaporin-2
  • collecting duct
  • kidney
  • transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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