Urea, in concentrations unique to the renal medulla, increases transcription and protein expression of several immediate-early genes (IEGs) including the zinc finger-containing transcription factor, Egr-1. In the present study, the proximal 1.2 kb of the murine Egr-1 5' -flanking sequence conferred urea-responsiveness to a heterologous luciferase reporter gene when transiently transfected into renal medullary mIMCD3 cells,and this effect was comparable with that of the extremely potent immediate-early gene inducer, O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA). Urea inducibility of Egr-1 expression was protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent because staurosporine and calphostin C abrogated the urea effect, and down-regulation of PHC through chronic TPa treatment inhibited both urea-inducible Egr-1 protein expression and gene transcription. In addition, hyperosmotic urea increased inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) release from mIMCD3 cells and induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the receptor tyrosine kinase-specific phospholipase C (PLC) isoform, PLC-gamma. Importantly, urea-inducible Egr-1 expression was strongly genistein-sensitive, to a much greater extent than the comparable TPA-inducible Egr-1 expression. These data suggest that urea-inducible Egr-1 expression is a consequence of sequential PLC-gamma activation, IP3 release, and PKC activation. Urea-inducible PLC-gamma activation, in conjunction with the genistein-sensitivity of urea-inducible Egr-1 expression suggest the possibility of a cell surface or cytoplasmic urea-sensing receptor tyrosine kinase.
D M Cohen, S R Gullans, W W Chin
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.