Pflugers Arch. 2010 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]
Lausanne Genomic Technologies Facility, Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, 1015, Lausanne, Switzerland.
The distal parts of the renal tubule play a critical role in maintaining homeostasis of extracellular fluids. In this review, we present an in-depth analysis of microarray-based gene expression profiles available for microdissected mouse distal nephron segments, i.e., the distal convoluted tubule (DCT) and the connecting tubule (CNT), and for the cortical portion of the collecting duct (CCD; Zuber et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:16523-16528, 2009). Classification of expressed transcripts in 14 major functional gene categories demonstrated that all principal proteins involved in maintaining the salt and water balance are represented by highly abundant transcripts. However, a significant number of transcripts belonging, for instance, to categories of G-protein-coupled receptors or serine/threonine kinases exhibit high expression levels but remain unassigned to a specific renal function. We also established a list of genes differentially expressed between the DCT/CNT and the CCD. This list is enriched by genes related to segment-specific transport functions and by transcription factors directing the development of the distal nephron or collecting ducts. Collectively, this in silico analysis provides comprehensive information about relative abundance and tissue specificity of the DCT/CNT and the CCD expressed transcripts and identifies new candidate genes for renal homeostasis.