Nuria M. Pastor-Soler, MD, PhD
Dr. Pastor-Soler is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Her primary research interest is in the regulation of the vacuolar proton-ATPase (V-ATPase) by kinases. The V-ATPase is a protein complex relevant to the normal physiology of epithelia and to the luminal acidification of kidney tubules and the male reproductive tract (epididymis/vas deferens). Dr. Pastor-Soler has studied the role of PKA in signaling of the V-ATPase downstream of the bicarbonate-sensing soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) in kidney and epididymal cells. She has identified functionally relevant PKA phosphorylation sites in V-ATPase subunits. In addition, her laboratory studies the role of the metabolic sensor AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in the regulation of proton secretion in epithelial cells. Her team has also identified target AMPK phosphorylation sites in V-ATPase subunits. Dr. Pastor-Soler’s laboratory continues to examine the functional effects of mutants at relevant phosphorylation sites on V-ATPase function in proton-secreting cells. In addition, Dr. Pastor-Soler has adapted the classical ex vivo kidney slices technique to examine intracellular trafficking of the V-ATPase and a variety of other transport proteins in situ in kidney tissue. Dr. Pastor-Soler’s findings have had significant impact on our understanding of the regulation of proton secretion in the kidney during acidotic states, as well as the regulation of proton transport in the male reproductive tract, which has a critical role in sperm maturation and male fertility.