Molecular Cloning, Expression, and Regulation of the Na+/Myo-Inosiotl Cotransporter Gene

Zhou, Cheng
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Zhou, Cheng, Molecular Cloning, Expression, and Regulation of the NA+/Myo-Inositol Cotransporter Gene. Doctor of Philosophy (Biomedical Sciences), August 1996. Mammalian cells respond to osmotic stress by accumulation of high concentrations of intracellular osmolytes. Osmotic-induced accumulation of the osmolyte, myo-inositol (MI), is achieved through activation of the NA+/MI cotransporter. Hypertonic stress results in elevated NA+/MI cotransporter mRNA abundance and transcription rate, and increased transporter activity. The goals of this dissertation are to establish the osmoregulation of the NA+/MI cotransporter gene expression in lens cells, and to investigate the transcriptional regulation of the NA+/MI cotransporter gene. Expression of the Na+/MI cotransporter in cultured bovine lens epithelial cells (BLECs) was demonstrated by RT-PCR amplification and Northern blot analysis. Hypertonic stress resulted in induction of the NA+/MI contransporter mRNA abundance in cultured BLECs. The induction patterns of the NA+/MI cotransporter and aldose reductase mRNA abundance by hypertonic stress indicated that osmoregulation of MI and sorbitol accumulations were regulated in concert. Accumulation of MI is an early-onset protective system, which is suppressed by the elevated sorbitol, the late-onset protective system. 5’-RACE analysis indicated that multiple transcription start sites were utilized in controlling of the expression of the NA+/MI cotransporter. Osmotic stress resulted in preferential utilization of a hypertonic promoter a. The bovine NA+/MI cotransporter gene was cloned and analyzed. The regulation of the Na+/MI cotransporter expression was investigated by transient transfection assays using promoter-luciferase constructs. Although multiple promoters were functional in cultured BLECs, only the hypertonic promoter a was osmotically responsive. Characterization of this osmotic-responsive element(s) between -536 to -300 bp upstream of the hypertonic transcription start site a. The studies presented in this dissertation refined the osmoregulation of the Na+/MI cotransporter gene expression. Hypertonicity induces MI accumulation by activation of an osmotic-responsive promoter. The consequences of the activation of this promoter lead to more cotransporter mRNA, more cotransporter protein, and higher transporter activity, resulting in accumulation of a higher concentration of intracellular Mi.