Distinct localization of renin and GLUT-4 in juxtaglomerular cells of mouse kidney

Timothy J. Anderson, Sally Martin, Jennifer L. Berka, David E. James, Jan W. Slot, Jennifer L. Stow

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The insulin-responsive glucose transporter, GLUT-4, is found primarily in adipocytes and skeletal muscle cells, where it is sequestered in a specialized recycling compartment, from which it can be recruited to the cell surface following insulin stimulation. Lower levels of GLUT-4 are also expressed in other tissues, including the kidney, where it is present particularly in cells of the afferent arteriole and juxtaglomerular apparatus (JGA). The exact nature of GLUT-4-containing compartments and their relationship to other regulated trafficking pathways in different cells are not yet well defined. The trafficking of GLUT-4 has been studied in different cells with regulated secretory pathways, and a recent study shows that, in cardiomyocytes, GLUT-4 is sorted and packaged into multiple regulated pathways (J. W. Slot, G. Garruti, S. Martin, V. Oorschot, G. Pshuma, E. W. Kraegen, R. Laybutt, G. Thibault, and D. E. James. J. Cell Biol. 137: 1243- 1254, 1997). In the kidney, cells of the JGA synthesize and secrete their major product, renin, via a well-established, regulated, secretory pathway. These cells also express GLUT-4 and thus offer the potential to directly compare the localization and trafficking of GLUT-4 and renin in a unique cell type. The present study was undertaken to investigate the intracellular distribution of GLUT-4 in mouse kidney cortex and to determine whether GLUT- 4 and renin are trafficked in the same or in separate regulated pathways. Ultrathin cryosections of mouse kidney were labeled by the immunogold technique and viewed by electron microscopy, demonstrating the distribution of GLUT-4 in cells of the JGA, afferent arteriole, and distal tubule. In granular cells of the JGA, renin was localized in secretory granules of the regulated secretory pathway, whereas GLUT-4 labeling in the same cells was found in a distinct tubulovesicular compartment located adjacent to the trans-Golgi network. We show that granular cells have separate, morphologically distinct compartments for the sequestration of renin and GLUT-4, providing evidence that there may be distinct pathways for the sorting and trafficking of these two proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F26 - F33
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology
Issue number1 43-1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Granular cell
  • Insulin-regulated glucose transporter
  • Regulated secretion

Cite this

Anderson, T. J., Martin, S., Berka, J. L., James, D. E., Slot, J. W., & Stow, J. L. (1998). Distinct localization of renin and GLUT-4 in juxtaglomerular cells of mouse kidney. American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology, 274(1 43-1), F26 - F33.