Non-genomic actions of aldosterone: From receptors and signals to membrane targets.

In tissues which express the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), aldosterone modulates the expression of membrane targets such as the subunits of the epithelial Na(+) channel, in combination with important signalling intermediates such as serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase-1. In addition, the rapid 'non-genomic' activation of protein kinases and secondary messenger signalling cascades has also been detected in aldosterone-sensitive tissues of the nephron, distal colon and cardiovascular system. These rapid actions are variously described as being coupled to MR or to an as yet unidentified, membrane-associated aldosterone receptor. The rapidly activated signalling cascades add a level of fine-tuning to the activity of aldosterone-responsive membrane transporters and also modulate the aldosterone-induced changes in gene expression through receptor and transcription factor phosphorylation.