Andy Terker Wins Paper of the Year

Andy Terker is the recipient of this year's OHSU Best Student Paper of the Year Award for his work on the role of potassium in renal salt management and blood pressure control. The paper was published in Cell Metabolism:

Terker AS, Zhang C, McCormick JA, Lazelle RA, Zhang C, Meermeier NP, Siler DA, Park HJ, Fu Y, Cohen DM, Weinstein AM, Wang WH, Yang CL, Ellison DH. Potassium modulates electrolyte balance and blood pressure through effects on distal cell voltage and chloride. Cell Metab. 2015, 21:39-50.

Working in David Ellison's lab, Andy showed that low dietary potassium activates the thiazide sensitive NaCl cotransporter, which caused sodium retention and hypertension. In an elegant series of studies, he showed that the effect was due to low plasma potassium, which hyperpolarizes the distal convoluted tubule cells, lowering intracellular chloride, and stimulating WNK kinases which activate the NaCl cotransporter. 

This work strongly suggests that, in addition to the high sodium content of modern western diets, the tendency of these diets to be low in potassium plays an important role in sodium retention and hypertension. These studies support focusing on potassium, and on the effects of potassium deficiency on renal sodium handling, in the development of new strategies to treat hypertension.

Andy is a current MD/PhD student who is just starting his final year of medical school.

Other papers from Andy's thesis work include:

Terker AS, Yarbrough B, Ferdaus MZ, Lazelle RA, Erspamer KJ, Meermeier NP, Park HJ, McCormick JA, Yang CL, Ellison DH. Direct and Indirect Mineralocorticoid Effects Determine Distal Salt Transport. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2015 [Epub ahead of print]

Zhang C, Meermeier NP, Terker AS, Blankenstein KI, Singer JD, Hadchouel J, Ellison DH, Yang CL. Degradation by Cullin 3 and effect on WNK kinases suggest a role of KLHL2 in the pathogenesis of Familial Hyperkalemic Hypertension. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016,469:44-8.

Ellison DH, Terker AS, Gamba G. Potassium and Its Discontents: New Insight, New Treatments. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016, 27:981-9.

Lazelle RA, McCully BH, Terker AS, Himmerkus N, Blankenstein KI, Mutig K, Bleich M, Bachmann S, Yang CL, Ellison DH. Renal Deletion of 12 kDa FK506-Binding Protein Attenuates Tacrolimus-Induced Hypertension. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2016, 27:1456-64.

Terker AS, Zhang C, Erspamer KJ, Gamba G, Yang CL, Ellison DH. Unique chloride-sensing properties of WNK4 permit the distal nephron to modulate potassium homeostasis. Kidney Int. 2016, 89:127-34.

Ellison DH, Terker AS. Why Your Mother Was Right: How Potassium Intake Reduces Blood Pressure. Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 2015, 126:46-55.

Terker AS, Ellison DH. Renal mineralocorticoid receptor and electrolyte homeostasis. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2015,309:R1068-70.

McCormick JA, Yang CL, Zhang C, Davidge B, Blankenstein KI, Terker AS, Yarbrough B, Meermeier NP, Park HJ, McCully B, West M, Borschewski A, Himmerkus N, Bleich M, Bachmann S, Mutig K, Argaiz ER, Gamba G, Singer JD, Ellison DH. Hyperkalemic hypertension-associated cullin 3 promotes WNK signaling by degrading KLHL3. J Clin Invest. 2014,124:4723-36.

Terker AS, Yang CL, McCormick JA, Meermeier NP, Rogers SL, Grossmann S, Trompf K, Delpire E, Loffing J, Ellison DH. Sympathetic stimulation of thiazide-sensitive sodium chloride cotransport in the generation of salt-sensitive hypertension. Hypertension. 2014, 64:178-84.

Saritas T, Borschewski A, McCormick JA, Paliege A, Dathe C, Uchida S, Terker A, Himmerkus N, Bleich M, Demaretz S, Laghmani K, Delpire E, Ellison DH, Bachmann S, Mutig K. SPAK differentially mediates vasopressin effects on sodium cotransporters. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013, 24:407-18.

Andy receives award from Allison Fryer