BACKGROUND : The role of Na+-dependent inorganic phosphate (Pi) transporters in the human kidney is not fully clarified. Hereditary hypophosphatemic rickets with hypercalciuria (HHRH) is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the IIc Na+-dependent Pi transporter (NPT2c/Npt2c/NaPi-IIc) gene. Another Na+-dependent type II transporter, (NPT2A/Npt2a/NaPi-IIa), is also important for renal Pi reabsorption in humans. In mice, Npt2c deletion does not lead to hypophosphatemia and rickets because Npt2a compensates for the impaired Pi reabsorption. To clarify the differences between mouse and human, we investigated the relation between NaPi-IIa and NaPi-IIc functions in opossum kidney (OK) cells. METHODS : We cloned NaPi-IIc from OK cells and created opossum NaPi-IIc (oNaPi-IIc) antibodies. We used oNaPi-IIc small interference (si)RNA and investigated the role of NaPi-IIc in Pi transport in OK cells. RESULTS : We cloned opossum kidney NaPi-IIc cDNAs encoding 622 amino acid proteins (variant1) and examined their pH- and sodium-dependency. The antibodies reacted specifically with 75-kDa and 150-kDa protein bands, and the siRNA of NaPi-IIc markedly suppressed endogenous oNaPi-IIc in OK cells. Treatment with siRNA significantly suppressed the expression of NaPi-4 (NaPi-IIa) protein and mRNA. oNaPi-IIc siRNA also suppressed Na+/H+ exchanger regulatory factor 1 expression in OK cells. CONCLUSIONS : These findings suggest that NaPi-IIc is important for the expression of NaPi-IIa (NaPi-4) protein in OK cells. Suppression of Npt2c may downregulate Npt2a function in HHRH patients.