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Research interests

My main research topic is the renal organic anion transport. Organic anions (OA) are substances, which possess a negative charge under physiological conditions. This class of substances includes a wide array of endogenous as well as exogenous compounds such as neurotransmitter metabolites, urate or prostaglandins, anti-viral drugs, antibiotics, analgesics or ochratoxin A, to name just a few. The kidney is the organ that facilitates secretion of these substances into the urine. Transport proteins involved in the secretion process of OA are members of the so called solute carrier family 22A (SLC22A). In recent years I was involved in the cloning and functional characterisation of organic anion transporters (OAT) of the SLC22A family.

Urate is the end product of purine metabolism in higher primates and well known as the substance causing gout. It has come back into clinical focus because of new studies supporting its impact on cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, we have demonstrated that transporters such as organic anion transporter 4 (OAT4) or OAT10 are not only capable of urate transport, but they are also involved in renal secretion of anti-hypertensive drugs such as diuretics (furosemide or torasemide) or thiazides (hydrochlorothiazide) and even the immunosuppressant cyclosporine A. We provided evidence that OAT4 as well as OAT10 exchange these drugs during secretion against urate and are consequently involved in the hyperuricemic effect of these commonly used diuretics, thiazides and cyclosporine A (Hagos et al. 2007a; Hagos et al. 2007b; Bahn et al. 2008).

Transporters currently known to play a significant role in determining urate plasma levels are URAT1, OAT4, ABCG2 and glucose transporter 9 (GLUT9). My main current interest is the post-transcriptional regulation of these urate transporters, especially GLUT9 in general and under different stress conditions.

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Research topics

  • Organic anion transport
  • Urate transport

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Current funding

  • 2012–2013 Otago Medical Research Foundation (Laurenson grant) in collaboration with Associate Professor Lisa Stamp (Christchurch)
  • 2012–2013 The National Heart Foundation, Associate Investigator with Dr Regis Lamberts
  • 2012–2013 University of Otago Research Grant
  • 2012–2013 University of Otago Research Grant, Associate Investigator with Dr Regis Lamberts
  • 2011–2013 Prostate Cancer Foundation New Zealand
  • 2011–2012 Dean's Bequest funding
  • 2010–2013 Health Research Council (HRC) emerging researcher first grant

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Teaching

  • Kidney and Gastrointestinal Physiology

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Selected publications

Bahn, A., Brocherie, P., & Prawitt, D. (2021). Hyperuricemia drives pancreatic β-cell death facilitated by DEPTOR uratylation. FASEB Journal, 35(Suppl. 1). doi: 10.1096/fasebj.2021.35.S1.02240

Purvis, N., Kumari, S., Chandrasekera, D., Bellae Papannarao, J., Gandhi, S., van Hout, I., Coffey, S., Bunton, R., Sugunesegran, R., Parry, D., Davis, P., Williams, M. J. A., Bahn, A., & Katare, R. (2021). Diabetes induces dysregulation of microRNAs associated with survival, proliferation and self-renewal in cardiac progenitor cells. Diabetologia. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s00125-021-05405-7

Futi, T., van Hout, I., Fomison-Nurse, I., Bahn, A., Ashley, Z., & Lamberts, R. (2019, September). Cardiac fibrosis is not associated with an earlier requirement of surgical cardiac intervention in Māori and Pacific patients. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Kim, J., & Bahn, A. (2019, September). Does uric acid control expression of p53 isoforms? Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Lavin, D. G., & Bahn, A. (2019, September). Is GLUT9 expression dependent on specific p53 isoforms. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Futi, T., van Hout, I., Fomison-Nurse, I., Bahn, A., Ashley, Z., & Lamberts, R. (2019). Is cardiac fibrosis associated with an earlier requirement of surgical cardiac intervention in Māori and Pacific patients? In A. Finigan, P. Vakaoti, R. Richards & M. Schaaf (Eds.), Proceedings of the Pacific Postgraduate Symposium: Pacific Voices XVI. (pp. 13). Dunedin, New Zealand: The Pacific Islands Centre, University of Otago. Retrieved from https://www.otago.ac.nz/pacific

Cook, R. F., Bussey, C. T., Fomison-Nurse, I. C., Hughes, G., Bahn, A., Cragg, P. A., & Lamberts, R. R. (2019). β2-adrenoceptors indirectly support impaired β1-adrenoceptor responsiveness in the isolated type 2 diabetic rat heart. Experimental Physiology, 104, 808-818. doi: 10.1113/EP087437

Futi, T., Fronius, M., Bahn, A., & Ashley, Z. (2018). Soluble klotho decreases the shear stress response of epithelial sodium channels. In A. Finigan, R. Richards & P. Vakaoti (Eds.), Proceedings of the Pacific Postgraduate Symposium: Pacific Voices XV. (pp. 11). Dunedin, New Zealand: Pacific Islands Centre, University of Otago. Retrieved from https://www.otago.ac.nz/pacific

Mugloo, S., Ashley, Z., Leader, C., Bahn, A., Sammut, I. A., Walker, R., McDonald, F. J., & Fronius, M. (2018, August). Characterising the role of vascular ENaC for blood pressure regulation. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Futi, T., Fronius, M., Bahn, A., & Ashley, Z. (2018, August). Soluble klotho changes epithelial sodium channel activity. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Cain, E., Alsop, T.-A., Shin, B., & Bahn, A. (2018, August). The emerging role of the antioxidant uric acid in the pancreatic β-cell viability. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Brocherie, P., & Bahn, A. (2018, August). Is pancreatic β-cell death under hyperuricemic conditions facilitated by the mTOR-Raptor complex? Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Twyman, C., Bahn, A., & Fronius, M. (2018, August). Uric acid as a modulator of endothelial sodium channels in the vasculature. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Nolan, D. J., & Bahn, A. (2018, August). Hyperuricemia driving pancreatic β-cell death through Rictor, a subunit of mTORC2. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Nguyen, K., & Bahn, A. (2018, August). Identification of transporters involved in drug-drug interaction during gout treatment in primary rat hepatocytes. Poster session presented at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Meetings, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Bussey, C. T., Thaung, H. P. A., Hughes, G., Bahn, A., & Lamberts, R. R. (2018). Cardiac β-adrenergic responsiveness of obese Zucker rats: The role of AMPK. Experimental Physiology, 103(8), 1067-1075. doi: 10.1113/ep087054

Purvis, N., Katare, R., & Bahn, A. (2017). The pathophysiological role of mircoRNAs in diabetic cardiac stem cells. Proceedings of the University of Otago Student Research Symposium: Te Wānaka Rakahau: Ākoka. (pp. 72). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/graduate-research/scholarships/otago643219.html

Sita, S., & Bahn, A. (2017, September). Does hyperuricemia control ubiquitination of p53 via OGT in cancer? Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Nguyen, K., & Bahn, A. (2017, September). Identification of transporters involved in drug-drug interaction during gout treatment in primary rat hepatocytes. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Lal, P., Mugloo, S., Bahn, A., & Fronius, M. (2017, September). Investigating the role of epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) as a shear stress sensor in endothelial cells. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Cain, E. C. J., & Bahn, A. (2017, September). Is hyperuricemia a regulator of the mTOR complex in pancreatic β-cells? Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Purvis, N. S., Bahn, A., & Katare, R. (2017, September). The pathophysiological role of microRNAs in diabetic cardiac stem cells. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Mugloo, S., Ashley, Z., Leader, C., Bahn, A., Sammut, I. A., Walker, R., McDonald, F. J., & Fronius, M. (2017, September). Hypertension is associated with increased ENaC expression in the arteries of Cyp1a1-Ren2 rats. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Bahn, A. (2017). Water, electrolytes, and acid-base balance. In J. Mann & A. S. Truswell (Eds.), Essentials of human nutrition. (5th ed.) (pp. 113-130). Oxford University Press.

Mugloo, S., Ashley, Z., Leader, C., Bahn, A., Sammut, I., Walker, R., McDonald, F., & Fronius, M. (2016, December). Epithelial Sodium Channel (ENaC): An emerging regulator of vascular physiology. Verbal presentation at the Joint International Meeting of the Renal Scientists of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Nephrology and the Kidney in Health and Disease Network: Translational Medicine: Innovations in Renal Research, Blenheim, New Zealand.

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