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The aquaporins (AQPs) are a family of small integral membrane proteins that facilitate the bidirectional transport of water across biological membranes in response to osmotic pressure gradients as well as enable the transmembrane diffusion of small neutral solutes (such as urea, glycerol, and hydrogen peroxide) and ions. AQPs are expressed throughout the human body. Here, we review their key roles in fluid homeostasis, glandular secretions, signal transduction and sensation, barrier function, immunity and inflammation, cell migration, and angiogenesis. Evidence from a wide variety of studies now supports a view of the functions of AQPs being much more complex than simply mediating the passive flow of water across biological membranes. The discovery and development of small-molecule AQP inhibitors for research use and therapeutic development will lead to new insights into the basic biology of and novel treatments for the wide range of AQP-associated disorders.

Original publication

DOI

10.3390/ijms23031388

Type

Journal article

Journal

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Publisher

MDPI AG

Publication Date

26/01/2022

Volume

23

Pages

1388 - 1388