Gene structure of urea transporters

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Urea plays various roles in the biology of diverse organisms. The past decade has produced new information on the molecular structure of several urea transporters in various species. Availability of DNA probes has revealed that the presence of urea transporters is not confined to the mammalian kidney but is also evident in testis and brain, raising new questions about the possible physiological role of urea in these organs. Cloning of the genes encoding the two closely related mammalian urea transporters UT-A and UT-B has helped in identifying molecular mechanisms affecting expression of urea transporters in the kidney, such as transcriptional control for UT-A abundance. On the basis of analysis of genomic sequences of individuals lacking the UT-B transporter, mutations have been found that explain deficits in their capacity to concentrate urine. More urea transporters are being characterized in marine organisms and lower vertebrates, and studying the role and regulation of urea transport from an evolutionary perspective can certainly enrich our understanding of renal physiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F3-F10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number1 53-1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Concentrating mechanism
  • Kidd antigen
  • Kidney
  • Osmoregulation
  • Urea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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