The adducin saga: pleiotropic genomic targets for precision medicine in human hypertension—vascular, renal, and cognitive diseases

Ezekiel Gonzalez-Fernandez, Letao Fan, Shaoxun Wang, Yedan Liu, Wenjun Gao, Kirby N. Thomas, Fan Fan, Richard J. Roman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Hypertension is a leading risk factor for stroke, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, vascular cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. Previous genetic studies have nominated hundreds of genes linked to hypertension, and renal and cognitive diseases. Some have been advanced as candidate genes by showing that they can alter blood pressure or renal and cerebral vascular function in knockout animals; however, final validation of the causal variants and underlying mechanisms has remained elusive. This review chronicles 40 years of work, from the initial identification of adducin (ADD) as an ACTIN-binding protein suggested to increase blood pressure in Milan hypertensive rats, to the discovery of a mutation in ADD1 as a candidate gene for hypertension in rats that were subsequently linked to hypertension in man. More recently, a recessive K572Q mutation in ADD3 was identified in Fawn-Hooded Hypertensive (FHH) and Milan Normotensive (MNS) rats that develop renal disease, which is absent in resistant strains. ADD3 dimerizes with ADD1 to form functional ADD protein. The mutation in ADD3 disrupts a critical ACTIN-binding site necessary for its interactions with actin and spectrin to regulate the cytoskeleton. Studies using Add3 KO and transgenic strains, as well as a genetic complementation study in FHH and MNS rats, confirmed that the K572Q mutation in ADD3 plays a causal role in altering the myogenic response and autoregulation of renal and cerebral blood flow, resulting in increased susceptibility to hypertension-induced renal disease and cerebral vascular and cognitive dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-70
Number of pages13
JournalPhysiological Genomics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • cerebral blood flow
  • chronic kidney disease
  • hypertension
  • renal blood flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics


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