Cullin-3: Renal and Vascular Mechanisms Regulating Blood Pressure

Jing Wu, James A. McCormick, Curt D. Sigmund

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The goal of this review is to evaluate recent advances in understanding the pivotal roles of Cullin-3 (CUL3) in blood pressure regulation with a focus on its actions in the kidney and blood vessels. Recent Findings: Cul3-based ubiquitin ligase regulates renal electrolyte transport, vascular tone, and redox homeostasis by facilitating the normal turnover of (1) with-no-lysine kinases in the distal nephron, (2) RhoA and phosphodiesterase 5 in the vascular smooth muscle, and (3) nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 in antioxidant responses. CUL3 mutations identified in familial hyperkalemic hypertension (FHHt) yield a mutant protein lacking exon 9 (CUL3∆9) which displays dual gain and loss of function. CUL3∆9 acts in a dominant manner to impair CUL3-mediated substrate ubiquitylation and degradation. The consequent accumulation of substrates and overactivation of downstream signaling cause FHHt through increased sodium reabsorption, enhanced vasoconstriction, and decreased vasodilation. Summary: CUL3 ubiquitin ligase maintains normal cardiovascular and renal physiology through posttranslational modification of key substrates which regulate blood pressure. Interference with CUL3 disturbs these key downstream pathways. Further understanding the spatial and temporal specificity of how CUL3 functions in these pathways is necessary to identify novel therapeutic targets for hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number61
JournalCurrent Hypertension Reports
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Blood pressure
  • Cullin3
  • Phosphodiesterase 5
  • RhoA
  • Ubiquitylation
  • With-no-lysine kinases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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