Aldosterone modulates thiazide-sensitive sodium chloride cotransporter abundance via DUSP6-mediated ERK1/2 signaling pathway.


Thiazide-sensitive sodium chloride cotransporter (NCC) plays an important role in maintaining blood pressure. Aldosterone is known to modulate NCC abundance. Previous studies reported that dietary salts modulated NCC abundance through either WNK4 [with no lysine (k) kinase 4]-SPAK (Ste20-related proline alanine-rich kinase) or WNK4-extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1 and -2 (ERK1/2) signaling pathways. To exclude the influence of SPAK signaling pathway on the role of the aldosterone-mediated ERK1/2 pathway in NCC regulation, we investigated the effects of dietary salt changes and aldosterone on NCC abundance in SPAK knockout (KO) mice. We found that in SPAK KO mice low-salt diet significantly increased total NCC abundance while reducing ERK1/2 phosphorylation, whereas high-salt diet decreased total NCC while increasing ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Importantly, exogenous aldosterone administration increased total NCC abundance in SPAK KO mice while increasing DUSP6 expression, an ERK1/2-specific phosphatase, and led to decreasing ERK1/2 phosphorylation without changing the ratio of phospho-T53-NCC/total NCC. In mouse distal convoluted tubule (mDCT) cells, aldosterone increased DUSP6 expression while reducing ERK1/2 phosphorylation. DUSP6 Knockdown increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation while reducing total NCC expression. Inhibition of DUSP6 by (E)-2-benzylidene-3-(cyclohexylamino)-2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-1-one increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation and reversed the aldosterone-mediated increments of NCC partly by increasing NCC ubiquitination. Therefore, these data suggest that aldosterone modulates NCC abundance via altering NCC ubiquitination through a DUSP6-dependent ERK1/2 signal pathway in SPAK KO mice and part of the effects of dietary salt changes may be mediated by aldosterone in the DCTs.