The long-standing problem of membrane water transport has been advanced by the recognition of a new family of water transport proteins, the 'aquaporins'. Not surprisingly, water transport is a major process in kidney physiology, and the biology of aquaporins is most thoroughly understood in that organ. We reviewed in detail the status of aquaporins in the kidney only one year ago, but the subsequent progress has dictated the need for an update. This seems especially appropriate in honor of the 100th birthday of Homer Smith, the pioneer whose foresight initiated this field.
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