Fluid and electrolyte transport by the pancreatic duct is unique among secretory glands. The duct does not absorb Na and secrets nearly 140 mM HCO3-. Ductal function is critical for pancreatic health, as evident in CF and pancreatitis. Although the Cl function of CFTR is required for ductal secretion, recent findings show that CFTR is a global regulator of epithelial function by regulating several Cl- and HCO3- transporters that participate in duntal fluid and HCO3- secretion, in particular members of the SLC26 transporters family (SLC26Ts). Indeed, we have shown that a) the electrogenicity and isoform specific stoichiometry of the SLC26Ts, b) the function of the SLC26Ts in ductal HCO3- secretion, c) the mutual regulation of the SLCTs and CFTR, d) the interaction between the CFTR R domain and SLC26Ts STAS domain, e) the regulation of the SLC26Ts by the WNKs kinases. These findings led to a new hypothesis of ductal fluid and HCO3- secretion in which the bulk of HCO3- secretion is mediated by different SLC26Ts that are regulated by CFTR. In turn, the SLC26Ts supress CFTR activity in the resting state and enhance CFTR activity at the stimulated state. CFTR determines the final HCO3- concentration in the pancreatic juice by controlling the membrane potential of the duct. We will test this hypothesis in model systems and native pancreatic ducts of WT and slc26a6-/- mice and the role of HCO3- secretion in pancreatitis in four specific aims: 1. Determine the role of coserved Ser/Thr/Tyr phosphortlation sites suggested by the NMR structure od STAS-R domains in the STAS-R domain interaction and mutual regulation of CFTR and slc26a3/6. 2. Study regulation of slc26a3/6 by the WNKs kinases and in the reciprocal regulation of CFTR and slc26a3/6 in vitro and in vivo. 3. study the role of kinases and signaling pathways upstream of the WNKs and kinases downstrean of the WNKs in the regulation of slc26a3/6 in vivtro and in vivo. 4. Examine the role of slc6a6 and HCO3- secretion in pancreatitis. The slc26a6-/- mice in which HCO3- secretion is compromized, will be used to determine the role of HCO3- secretion in induction and progression of acute pancreatitis. The proposed work should advance our understanding of pancreatic duct fluid and HCO3- secretion and result in information relevant to pancreatitis and Cystic Fibrosis. Public Health Relevance: The pancreas secretes digestive enzymes and fluid that contains a lot of HCO3- that wash the enzymes to the intestine. The HCO3- is needed to prevent premature activation of the enzymes so that they will not digest the pancreas itself. When HCO3- secretion is aberrant the pancreas digests itself as occur in the diseases Cystic Fibrosis and pancreatitis. This work is aimed to understand how the pancreas secretes HCO3- and why HCO3- secretion is aberrant in pancreatitis and Cystic Fibrosis.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
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Clinical and Integrative Gastrointestinal Pathobiology Study Section (CIGP)
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Serrano, Jose
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University of Texas Sw Medical Center Dallas
Schools of Medicine
United States
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