Physiological regulation of the epithelial Na+ channel by casein kinase II

Jonathan M. Berman, Elena Mironova, James D. Stockand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The epithelial Na+ channel, ENaC, is the final arbiter of sodium excretion in the kidneys. As such, discretionary control of ENaC by hormones is critical to the fine-tuning of electrolyte and water excretion and, consequently, blood pressure. Casein kinase 2 (CK2) phosphorylates ENaC. Phosphorylation by CK2 is necessary for normal ENaC activity. We tested the physiological importance of CK2 regulation of ENaC as the degree to which ENaC activity is dependent on CK2 phosphorylation in the living organism is unknown. This was addressed using patch-clamp analysis of ENaC in completely split-open collecting ducts and whole animal physiological studies of sodium excretion in mice. We also used ENaC-harboring CK2 phosphorylation site mutations to elaborate the mechanism. We found that ENaC activity in ex vivo preparations of murine collecting duct had a significant decrease in activity in response to selective antagonism of CK2. In whole animal experiments selective antagonism of CK2 caused a natriuresis similar to benzamil, but not additive to benzamil, suggesting an ENaC-depen-dent mechanism. Regulation of ENaC by CK2 was abolished by mutation of the canonical CK2 phosphorylation sites in beta and gamma ENaC. Together, these results demonstrate that the appropriate regulation of ENaC by CK2 is necessary for the normal physiological role played by this key renal ion channel in the fine-tuning of sodium excretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F367-F372
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Aldosterone
  • Collecting duct
  • Hypertension
  • Renal physiology
  • Sodium excretion
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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