Structure, expression, and regulation of the murine renin genes.
It has long been known that the renin-angiotensin system plays an integral role in the regulation of blood pressure and electrolyte and fluid balance in mammals. The advent of molecular biologic techniques has afforded new insights into the genes regulating blood pressure. Laboratory mice and rats have been used as experimental models to examine the structural organization and expression of the renin gene. It is now well established that some mice, unlike rats and humans, contain a duplicated copy of the renin locus, which accounts for the high level of renin activity long known to be found in the submandibular gland of some mice. Indeed it is this fortuitous observation that facilitated the isolation of the first complementary DNA clones for renin and ultimately the many species-specific probes now available to analyze mammalian tissues for evidence of primary renin expression. The use of complementary DNAs as probes for primary renin expression helped confirm and further clarify earlier studies demonstrating the presence of renin activity in a number of extrarenal tissues. Although expression in some of these tissues is evolutionarily conserved, their significance has still been elusive. In this report we review the impact of molecular biology on our current understanding of renin gene structure and organization, tissue- and cell-specific expression and regulation, and the changes in renin expression throughout ontogeny. In addition, we describe how new developments in gene transfer technology have added important tools to our arsenal for examining renin gene regulation and how these technologies can be used to develop new tools for renin and hypertension research.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association