Kidney androgen-regulated protein (KAP), a proximal tubule androgen-regulated gene, codes for a protein of unknown function.
METHODS AND RESULTS:
To investigate the consequences of KAP overexpression in kidney, we produced KAP transgenic mice and performed microarray expression analyses in kidneys of control and transgenic males. Downregulation of the androgen-sensitive Cyp4A14 monooxygenase gene in KAP transgenic mice prompted us to analyze blood pressure levels, and we observed that transgenic mice were hypertensive. Inhibition of 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid synthesis by N-hydroxy-N’-(4-n-butyl-2-methylphenyl) formamidine (HET0016) reduced the increased 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid levels in urine and normalized arterial pressure in transgenic mice, as did the NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin. Increased oxidative stress in transgenic mice was demonstrated by (1) enhanced excretion of urinary markers of oxidative stress, 8-iso-prostaglandin F2alpha, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine, and thiobarbituric acid-reacting substances; (2) augmented mitochondrial DNA damage and malondialdehyde levels in kidneys; and (3) diminished catalase and glutathione peroxidase activity in transgenic kidneys. Mice exhibited renal defects that included focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, proteinuria, glycosuria, and fibrosis.
Taken together, these results indicate that KAP expression is critical for cardiovascular-renal homeostasis maintenance and that hypertension is associated with increased oxidative stress. This is the first report showing that overexpression of an androgen-regulated, proximal tubule-specific gene induces hypertension. These observations may shed light on the molecular pathophysiology of gender differences in the prevalence and severity of hypertension and chronic renal disease.