VACM-1/cul5 Expression in Vascular Tissue in Vivo is Induced by Water Deprivation and its Expression in Vitro Regulates Aquaporin-1 Concentrations

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Cell and Tissue Research

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Alyssa E. Johnson, Isabelle P. Le, and Bradley T. Andresen contributed equally to the work reported in this manuscript.

This article was previously e-published on May 13, 2012.


VACM-1, a cul5 gene product, when overexpressed in vitro, has an antiproliferative effect. In vivo, VACM-1/cul5 is present in tissues involved in the regulation of water balance. Neither proteins targeted for VACM-1/cul5-specific degradation nor factors that may regulate its expression in those tissues have been studied. To identify genes that may be misregulated by VACM-1 cDNA, we performed microarray analysis. Our results indicate that in cos-1 cells transfected with VACM-1 cDNA, mRNA levels for several genes, including AQP1, were decreased when compared to the control group. Our results also indicate that in cos-1 cells transfected with VACM-1 cDNA, endogenous AQP1 protein was decreased about 6-fold when compared to the controls. To test the hypothesis that VACM-1/cul5 may be regulated by conditions that compromise water homeostasis in vivo, we determined if 24 h of water deprivation affects VACM-1/cul5 levels or the effect of VACM-1/cul5 on AQP1. VACM-1 mRNA and protein levels were significantly higher in rat mesenteric arteries, skeletal muscle and the heart ventricle but not in the heart atrium from 24-h water-deprived rats when compared to the controls. Interestingly, 24 h of water deprivation increased modification of VACM-1 by an ubiquitin-like protein, Nedd8, essential for cullin-dependent E3 ligase activity. Although water deprivation did not significantly change AQP1 levels in the mesenteric arteries, AQP1 protein concentrations were inversely correlated with the ratio of the VACM-1 to Nedd8-modified VACM-1. These results suggest that VACM-1/cul5 may regulate endothelial AQP1 concentration both in vivo and in vitro.


VACM-1/cul5, AQP1, Nedd8, Water deprivation