Edith Hummler group

Role of channel-activating proteases in epithelial ion transport and hypertension

Hypertension or increased blood pressure strongly associates with increased risk of cardiovascular events, stroke and kidney disease and affects one out of three adults in developed countries. Thereby, blood pressure is dependent on salt balance, and increase in the highly amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel ENaC is a common phenomenon in salt-dependent hypertension.

The channel-activating proteases (CAPs) define a subclass of membrane-bound serine proteases. They induce ENaC-mediated Na+ ion transport through a novel autocrine mechanism. These serine proteases are further involved in multiple biological processes including embryonic development, barrier function of epithelia and organ differentiation, although their physiological function remains largely unknown. Recent findings indicate an important role in pathophysiological processes like hypertension and/or cancer.


Our laboratory focuses on two major goals:

  • The study of channel-activating proteases in kidney physiology and pathophysiology like hypertension.
  • The identification of downstream targets and underlying pathways of these proteases with focus on development of hypertension.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Adult mouse kidney -

kindly provided by Mariela Castelblanco Castelblanco


Using in silico, in vitro and in vivo genetic approaches, we like to understand the role of these serine proteases in physiological and pathophysiological conditions that provide targets for novel therapies in hypertension.


​​​​​​​Membrane-bound serine proteases, ENaC cleavage and activation, hypertension, genetic models

Edith Hummler.jpg (Département de Pharmacologie & ToxicologieFaculté de...

Edith Hummler

Group leader

+41 21 692 53 57‬


Rue du Bugnon 7 - CH-1005 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 692 55 00
Fax +41 21 692 55 05