Developmental gene expression and tissue distribution of the CHIP28 water-channel protein

Carolyn Bondy, Edward Chin, Barbara L. Smith, Gregory M. Preston, Peter Agre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


The CHIP28 water channel is a major component of red cell and renal tubule membranes; however, its ontogeny and tissue distribution remain undefined. Three patterns of expression were identified when CHIP28 mRNA was surveyed by in situ hybridization histochemistry in rats between embryonic day 14 and maturity. (i) CHIP28 mRNA and protein were very abundant in hematopoietic tissue and kidneys of mature rats, but strong expression did not occur until after birth, when it appeared in renal proximal tubules and descending thin limbs, red pulp of the spleen, and membranes of circulating red cells. (ii) CHIP28 mRNA was abundant in choroid plexus epithelium throughout fetal development and maturity. (iii) CHIP28 mRNA was transiently observed in periosteum, heart, vascular endothelium, and cornea during fetal development. The ontogeny of kidney and red cell CHIP28 expression coincides with the ability of kidneys to concentrate urine, suggesting that CHIP28 promotes water reabsorption in the proximal nephron and provides red cell osmoregulation needed for passage through the hypertonic medulla. Its presence in the choroid plexus suggests that CHIP28-mediated water transport contributes to secretion of cerebrospinal fluid. The functional role of CHIP28 in developing bone, heart, and eye is unclear. These findings further establish the general physiologic role of CHIP28 as a water channel involved in reabsorption, osmoregulation, and secretion. The studies also suggest other possible functions during fetal development and predict that complex mechanisms will be needed for regulation of CHIP28 gene expression in diverse tissues at distinct points in development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4500-4504
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Choroid plexus
  • Fetal development
  • In situ hybridization
  • Kidney
  • Red cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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