PCK1 is a key regulator of metabolic and mitochondrial functions in renal tubular cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 (PCK1 or PEPCK-C) is a cytosolic enzyme converting oxaloacetate to phosphoenolpyruvate, with a potential role in gluconeogenesis, ammoniagenesis, and cataplerosis in the liver. Kidney proximal tubule cells display high expression of this enzyme, whose importance is currently not well defined. We generated PCK1 kidney-specific knockout and knockin mice under the tubular cell-specific PAX8 promoter. We studied the effect of PCK1 deletion and overexpression at the renal level on tubular physiology under normal conditions and during metabolic acidosis and proteinuric renal disease. PCK1 deletion led to hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis characterized by reduced but not abolished ammoniagenesis. PCK1 deletion also resulted in glycosuria, lactaturia, and altered systemic glucose and lactate metabolism at baseline and during metabolic acidosis. Metabolic acidosis resulted in kidney injury in PCK1-deficient animals with decreased creatinine clearance and albuminuria. PCK1 further regulated energy production by the proximal tubule, and PCK1 deletion decreased ATP generation. In proteinuric chronic kidney disease, mitigation of PCK1 downregulation led to better renal function preservation. PCK1 is essential for kidney tubular cell acid-base control, mitochondrial function, and glucose/lactate homeostasis. Loss of PCK1 increases tubular injury during acidosis. Mitigating kidney tubular PCK1 downregulation during proteinuric renal disease improves renal function.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 (PCK1) is highly expressed in the proximal tubule. We show here that this enzyme is crucial for the maintenance of normal tubular physiology, lactate, and glucose homeostasis. PCK1 is a regulator of acid-base balance and ammoniagenesis. Preventing PCK1 downregulation during renal injury improves renal function, rendering it an important target during renal disease.

published proceedings

  • Am J Physiol Renal Physiol

altmetric score

  • 7.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Verissimo, T., Dalga, D., Arnoux, G., Sakhi, I., Faivre, A., Auwerx, H., ... de Seigneux, S.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Verissimo, Thomas||Dalga, Delal||Arnoux, GrĂ©goire||Sakhi, Imene||Faivre, Anna||Auwerx, Hannah||Bourgeois, Soline||Paolucci, Deborah||Gex, Quentin||Rutkowski, Joseph M||Legouis, David||Wagner, Carsten A||Hall, Andrew M||de Seigneux, Sophie

publication date

  • June 2023