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Expression and regulation of aquaporin in digestive system

Water plays an important role in the secretion, absorption and excretion of the digestive system, as well as maintaining the water balance of the entire body. In recent years, it has been found that a large number of aquaporins are expressed in the digestive tract, suggesting that water molecules inside and outside the cell divide by simple transmembrane diffusion through the lipid bilayer membrane, and that there may also be a rapid transport mechanism of specific transmembrane transporters.
At least eight kinds of aquaporin are expressed in the digestive system, including AQP1, AQP3, AQP4, AQP5, AQP8, AQP 9, AQP10, AQP11, and AQP12.
The regulation of aquaporin can be divided into long-term regulation and short-term regulation.Long-term regulation refers to the increase in the synthesis of AQP at the transcription level, and the increase in mRNA and protein expression.Short-term regulation refers to changes in the activity of aquaporin or changes in the number of functional water channels under the regulation of certain factors in the internal environment. At present, it is believed that there are two main mechanisms involved in the short-term regulation of water channels: phosphorylation mechanism and "shuttle mechanism".
There have been many reports on the relationship between abnormal expression of aquaporin and disease. Recent studies have shown that the expression of AQP1 protein and its mRNA in the peritoneum of cirrhotic mice is down-regulated, suggesting that AQP1 may play an important role in the formation of ascites. In the study of mouse colitis model and human ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, infectious colitis, it was found that the expression of AQP4, AQP 7, and AQP8 was down-regulated. The results showed that both mouse and human colon damage were related to aquaporin The expression is down-regulated. Studies have confirmed that AQP3 is expressed on the surface epithelium of normal colon, but AQP1, 3, and 5 are also expressed in colon cancer tissues, colon cancer cell lines and even metastatic tumor cells, and are related to the early stage of colon cancer development. It is speculated that AQPs are in the early colon It plays an important role in the occurrence of cancer and may have carcinogenic properties. Studies have shown that the AQP8 gene is only expressed in normal tissues, but not in colon adenomas, colon cancer and cancer cell lines.
 In another study, it was found that the expression of AQP8 in pancreatic cancer cell lines was also significantly reduced. Therefore, AQP8 protein can be used as a marker of fully differentiated epithelium, while it is down-regulated in tumor cells dominated by undifferentiated epithelium.  
Since the discovery of aquaporin, the study of its structure, expression, regulation and related functions has made serial and phased progress, but the exact molecular mechanism of aquaporin in the water transport process is still unclear. With the deepening of research, its physiological functions and regulatory mechanisms will be more relieved, and the understanding of water metabolism-related diseases will also be greater, and it may provide new theoretical basis for its clinical treatment and explore new Methods and approaches.
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