Regulation of glucose transporter SGLT1 by ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-2 and kinases SGK1, SGK3, and PKB
Dieter M, Palmada M, Rajamanickam J, Aydin A, Busjahn A, Boehmer C, Luft FC, Lang F
Obes Res. 2004 May;12(5):862-70

OBJECTIVE: Serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 (SGK1) inhibits the ubiquitin ligase neuronal cell expressed developmentally downregulated 4-2 (Nedd4-2), which retards the retrieval of the epithelial Na+ channel ENaC. Accordingly, SGK1 enhances ENaC abundance in the cell membrane. The significance of this effect is shown by an association of an E8CC/CT;I6CC polymorphism in the SGK1 gene with increased blood pressure. However, strong expression of SGK1 in enterocytes not expressing ENaC points to further functions of SGK1. This study was performed to test for regulation of Na+-coupled glucose transporter 1 (SGLT1) by Nedd4-2, SGK1, and/or the related kinases SGK3 and PKB. Additional studies searched for an association of the SGK1 gene with BMI. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: mRNA encoding SGLT1, wild-type Nedd4-2, inactive (C938S)Nedd4-2, wild type SGK1, constitutively active (S422D)SGK1 or inactive (K127N)SGK1, wild-type SGK3, and constitutively active (T308DS473D)PKB or inactive (T308AS473A)PKB were injected into Xenopus oocytes, and glucose transport was quantified from glucose-induced current (I(glc)). BMI was determined in individuals with or without the E8CC/CT;I6CC polymorphism. RESULTS: I(glc) was significantly decreased by coexpression of Nedd4-2 but not of (C938S)Nedd4-2. Coexpression of SGK1, (S422D)SGK1, SGK3, or (T308DS473D)PKB, but not of (K127N)SGK1 or (T308AS473A)PKB, enhanced I(glc) and reversed the effect of Nedd4-2. SGK1 and SGK3 phosphorylated Nedd4-2. Deletion of the SGK/PKB phosphorylation sites in Nedd4-2 blunted the kinase effects. BMI was significantly (p < 0.008) greater in individuals with the E8CC/CT;I6CC polymorphism than in individuals without. DISCUSSION: Overactivity of SGK1 may lead not only to excessive ENaC activity and hypertension but also to enhanced SGLT1 activity and obesity.

Heritability of Venous Function in Humans
Marina Brinsuk, Jens Tank, Friedrich C. Luft, Andreas Busjahn, Jens Jordan
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004;24:207-211

OBJECTIVE: Venous function contributes to the pathogenesis of thrombophlebitis, venous thrombosis, and possibly to arterial hypertension. Venous disease is presumably heritable; however, the genetic variance of venous function is unknown.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We determined the heritability of venous function in 46 twin pairs (24 monozygotic, age 35+/-11 years, 14 men, 34 women; 22 dizygotic, age 30+/-8 years, 19 men, 25 women). After a resting phase in the supine position, we determined venous function in both legs by impedance plethysmography. Venous capacity was determined by a standardized protocol. In addition, we obtained venous pressure volume curves by slowly deflating a thigh cuff from 60 to 0 mm Hg. Venous compliance was determined as the steepest part of the venous pressure volume curve. Heritability was estimated using a path modeling approach. Unadjusted heritability was 0.6 (P<0.05) for venous capacity and 0.9 (P<0.05) for venous compliance. The heritability estimate for venous capacity decreased to 0.3 after adjustment for age, body mass index, and body fat. The heritability estimate for venous compliance remained essentially unchanged after adjustment for sex and age.
CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that venous function is strongly influenced by genetic factors. The genes involved may influence venous disease states.

Association of the serum and glucocorticoid regulated kinase (sgk1) gene with QT interval
Busjahn A, Seebohm G, Maier G, Toliat MR, Nurnberg P, Aydin A, Luft FC, Lang F.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2004;14(3):135-42.

The serum and glucocorticoid inducible kinase (SGK1) is well known to up-regulate the renal epithelial Na(+) channel ENaC. Excessive SGK1 activity would be expected to cause renal Na(+) retention and blood pressure increase. Certain polymorphisms of the SGK1 gene (E8CC/CT;I6CC) are indeed associated with moderately enhanced blood pressure. We have recently disclosed another function of SGK1, i.e. the stimulation of the slowly activating K(+) channel KCNE1/KCNQ1. Among the functions of this channel is the repolarisation of cardiac myocytes. Accordingly, defective KCNE1 and/or KCNQ1 lead to long QT syndrome, a disorder causing fainting and sudden cardiac death. In the present study we demonstrate that coexpression of SGK1 in Xenopus oocytes increases KCNQ1/KCNE1 induced current without significantly altering voltage dependence, activation and deactivation kinetics. To test for the relevance of SGK1 in human cardiac repolarization, we analysed the ECG of monozygotic (MZ) (126 pairs) and dizygotic (DZ) (70 pairs) twin subjects and parents of DZ twins. The E8CC/CT;I6CC polymorphism was indeed significantly (p<0.025) associated with shortened age and gender corrected QT interval. No significant differences were observed in any other ECG parameter, including heart rate, P, PQ and QRS. We conclude that the regulation of KCNE1/KCNQ1 by SGK1 is similarly relevant for the repolarization of cardiac myocytes as for regulation of renal ENaC activity and blood pressure control.