The Na-(K)-Cl cotransporter family in the mammalian kidney: molecular identification and function(s).


A new solute carrier gene family, SLC12, was recently described based on the molecular identification of three electroneutral Na-(K)-Cl cotransport proteins. In mammals, these proteins are encoded by three distinct but related genes: SLC12A1, SLC12A2, SLC12A3, which are located on different chromosomes. Although the expression patterns of these three cotransport proteins differ significantly, all of them are expressed in the mammalian kidney and participate in several important aspects of renal function. This review summarizes the information learned from the molecular identification of these cotransporters, evaluates the patterns of expression within the kidney, and discusses the roles that these cotransporters play in renal physiology and pathophysiology.