Exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP [Epac(s)] were discovered more than a decade ago as new sensors for the second messenger cAMP. The Epac family members, including Epac1 and Epac2, are guanine nucleotide exchange factors for the Ras-like small GTPases Rap1 and Rap2, and they function independently of protein kinase A. Given the importance of cAMP in kidney homeostasis, several molecular and cellular studies using specific Epac agonists have analyzed the role and regulation of Epac proteins in renal physiology and pathophysiology. The specificity of the functions of Epac proteins may depend upon their expression and localization in the kidney as well as their abundance in the microcellular environment. This review discusses recent literature data concerning the involvement of Epac in renal tubular transport physiology and renal glomerular cells where various signaling pathways are known to be operative. In addition, the potential role of Epac in kidney disorders, such as diabetic kidney disease and ischemic kidney injury, is discussed.
- Exchange proteins directly activated by cadenosine 3'5'-cyclic monophosphate
- Guanosine triphosphatases
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