Institut für Zelluläre und Molekulare Physiologie
- Electrophysiology and molecular biology of renal ion channels
- Channelopathies and molecular mechanisms of ion channel regulation
- Pathophysiology of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC)
Ion channels are involved in the highly selective and
control of ion fluxes across apical and basolateral membranes of renal
epithelial cells. The research group of Professor Korbmacher is
particularly interested in ion channels of the distal tubule and
collecting duct which play a major role for the fine tuning of renal
fluid and electrolyte handling. The study of molecular mechanisms
involved in epithelial ion channel regulation is likely to be relevant
to understand a range of diseases (e.g. cystic fibrosis, kidney stones,
high arterial blood pressure, salt loosing syndromes).
The present focus of the research group of Prof. Korbmacher is a low conductance amiloride-sensitive epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC), which is the rate-limiting transport step for Na+ re-absorption in the distal nephron. Its function and appropriate regulation is critically important for the maintenance of body sodium balance and consequently for the long term regulation of arterial blood pressure.
A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in ENaC regulation will hopefully provide novel insights into the physiology and pathophysiology of arterial hypertension. This ultimately may lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic concepts.