Brain/kidney (B/K) protein is a novel double C2-like-domain protein that is highly expressed in rat brain and kidney, but its cellular localization and functional role in the kidney are still undetermined. We examined the cellular localization of B/K protein in the rat kidney under normal and ischemic conditions. Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury was induced by clamping both renal arteries for 45 min, and animals were killed at 1 and 6 h and 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 14, and 28 days after the reperfusion. Kidney tissues were processed for immunohistochemistry and immunoblot analyses using rabbit anti-B/K polyclonal antibodies. In control kidneys, B/K protein was expressed primarily in distal tubules including the thick ascending limb, distal convoluted and connecting tubules, and collecting duct. Notably, B/K protein was also expressed in the straight portion (S3 segment), but not in the S1 or S2, of proximal tubules, and podocytes of the glomerulus. In rat kidneys with I/R injury, expression of B/K protein was differentially regulated according to the anatomic location. In distal tubules, overall expression of B/K protein was markedly decreased. On the other hand, I/R injury significantly increased B/K protein expression in the S3 segment of the outer medulla as well as in the rat proximal tubular epithelial cell line NRK-52E in vitro. Furthermore, B/K protein was strongly expressed in many exfoliated cells in the lumen and urine. These findings suggest that B/K protein is closely associated with cell death in proximal tubules, which are vulnerable to I/R injury in the kidney.
- Brain/kidney protein
- Cell death