PloS one

Epithelial Sodium Channel-Mediated Sodium Transport Is Not Dependent on the Membrane-Bound Serine Protease CAP2/Tmprss4.

PMID 26309024


The membrane-bound serine protease CAP2/Tmprss4 has been previously identified in vitro as a positive regulator of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC). To study its in vivo implication in ENaC-mediated sodium absorption, we generated a knockout mouse model for CAP2/Tmprss4. Mice deficient in CAP2/Tmprss4 were viable, fertile, and did not show any obvious histological abnormalities. Unexpectedly, when challenged with sodium-deficient diet, these mice did not develop any impairment in renal sodium handling as evidenced by normal plasma and urinary sodium and potassium electrolytes, as well as normal aldosterone levels. Despite minor alterations in ENaC mRNA expression, we found no evidence for altered proteolytic cleavage of ENaC subunits. In consequence, ENaC activity, as monitored by the amiloride-sensitive rectal potential difference (ΔPD), was not altered even under dietary sodium restriction. In summary, ENaC-mediated sodium balance is not affected by lack of CAP2/Tmprss4 expression and thus, does not seem to directly control ENaC expression and activity in vivo.