Cellular and molecular biology of the aquaporin water channels

Mario Borgnia, Søren Nielsen, Andreas Engel, Peter C Agre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The high water permeability characteristic of mammalian red cell membranes is now known to be caused by the protein AQP1. This channel freely permits movement of water across the cell membrane, but it is not permeated by other small, uncharged molecules or charged solutes. AQP1 is a tetramet with each subunit containing an aqueous pore likened to an hourglass formed by obversely arranged tandem repeats. Cryoelectron microscopy of reconstituted AQP1 membrane crystals has revealed the three-dimensional structure at 3-6 Å. AQP1 is distributed in apical and basolateral membranes of renal proximal tubules and descending thin limbs as well as capillary endothelia. Ten mammalian aquaporins have been identified in water-permeable tissues and fall into two groupings. Orthodox aquaporins are water-selective and include AQP2, a vasopressin-regulated water channel in renal collecting duct, in addition to AQP0, AQP4, and AQP5. Multifunctional aquaglyceroporins AQP3, AQP7, and AQP9 are permeated by water, glycerol, and some other solutes. Aquaporins are being defined in numerous other species including amphibia, insects, plants, and microbials. Members of the aquaporin family are implicated in numerous physiological processes as well as the pathophysiology of a wide range of clinical disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-458
Number of pages34
JournalAnnual Review of Biochemistry
Volume68
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

Fingerprint

Cytology
Aquaporins
Molecular biology
Cell Biology
Molecular Biology
Water
Cell membranes
Aquaglyceroporins
Cell Membrane
Aquaporin 1
Physiological Phenomena
Water Movements
Membranes
Cryoelectron Microscopy
Proximal Kidney Tubule
Tandem Repeat Sequences
Vascular Endothelium
Amphibians
Vasopressins
Glycerol

Keywords

  • Channel structure
  • Gene family
  • Water transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Cellular and molecular biology of the aquaporin water channels. / Borgnia, Mario; Nielsen, Søren; Engel, Andreas; Agre, Peter C.

In: Annual Review of Biochemistry, Vol. 68, 1999, p. 425-458.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Borgnia, Mario ; Nielsen, Søren ; Engel, Andreas ; Agre, Peter C. / Cellular and molecular biology of the aquaporin water channels. In: Annual Review of Biochemistry. 1999 ; Vol. 68. pp. 425-458.
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