Familial juvenile hyperuricemic nephropathy (FJHN) and medullary cystic kidney disease type 2 (MCKD2) are autosomal dominant disorders characterized by juvenile hyperuricemia of the underexcretion type, juvenile gout and chronic renal failure in the adult. FJHN/MCKD2 constitute diseases caused by mutations of the human uromodulin (UMOD) gene that encodes uromodulin, the most abundant glycoprotein in normal human urine. The mutations affect the transport of uromodulin, resulting in the accumulation of uromodulin in the kidneys of FJHN/MCKD2 patients. The purpose of this study was to confirm the accumulation of uromodulin in the kidneys of transgenic mice harboring the mutant human UMOD gene with mouse UMOD gene promoter, and to determine the relationship between its accumulation and the effect on uromodulin transport. The mutant human UMOD mRNA and its protein were expressed in the kidneys of transgenic mice. Moreover, the staining of human uromodulin was colocalized with that of mouse uromodulin. Although the human UMOD mRNA levels increased, the protein levels did not change and the accumulation of human uromodulin was not observed. However, the mouse uromodulin consists of two forms, 103 and 117 kDa, and the 103 kDa protein was gradually increased in the kidneys of transgenic mice. Human and mouse uromodulins in the kidneys of transgenic mice were mainly detected in the Triton X-100 insoluble microsomal fraction. Therefore, the progressive accumulation of uromodulin was observed in the plasma membrane of the kidneys of transgenic mice but the accumulated uromodulin protein was not that encoded by the transgene.
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