- ENDOCRINE SOC
A new frog aquaporin (AQP) cDNA was cloned from a cDNA library constructed from the ventral skin of the tree frog Hyla japonica. This AQP (Hyla AQP-h2) consisted of 268 amino acid residues with a high homology to mammalian AQP2. The predicted amino acid sequence contained the two conserved Asn-Pro- Ala motifs found in all the major intrinsic protein family members and the putative six transmembrane domains. The sequence also contained a mercurial compound: cysteine, one potential N-glycosylation site at Asn-124, and a putative phosphorylation site recognized by protein kinase A at Ser-262. In a swelling assay using Xenopus oocytes, AQP-h2 facilitated water permeability, especially in response to cAMP. Expression of AQP-h2 mRNA was restricted to several tissues including the ventral skin, kidney, and urinary bladder; but with immunofluorescence staining using an antipeptide antibody (ST-140) against the AQP-h2 protein, immunopositive cells were found only in the ventral skin and urinary bladder. In the ventral pelvic skin, the label for AQP-h2 was localized in the entire plasma membrane of the granular cells beneath the outmost layer of the skin and in the basolateral membrane of the granular cells in this layer. In response to vasotocin, however, the label for AQP-h2 became more intense in the apical membrane in the granular cells of the outermost layer, similar to the case for the earlier studied AQP-h3, which was specifically expressed in the ventral skin. Taken together, these findings suggest that not only AQP-h3, but also AQP-h2 acts as a regulator of the water balance in this frog.
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