Gene expression profiles of wild type and Actinin 4 point mutant knock-in adult podocyte cells at 2, 5 and 44 weeks following TRAP purification. (GUDMAP Series ID: 49)
ABSTRACT: The long term goal is to create an encyclopaedia of podocyte gene expression both in homeostasis, development and disease. Podocytes are identified by their expression of an eGFPL10a fusion protein whose expression is driven by a Col1a1 promoter fragment. Podocyte-specific RNA is generated by eGFP-affinity purification of polysomes and then subject to microarray analysis. Expression profiling of wild type and Actinin 4 point mutant knock-in kidney podocytes by TRAP. Col1a1-eGFPL10a mice were crossed against Actn4+/tm1.1Plk (KI) mice. Wild-type or KI mice were subject to TRAP at the following time points: 2, 5 and 44 weeks.
Project description:The long term goal is to define the transcriptional changes that accompany pericyte-to-myofibroblast transition in fibrotic kidney disease. Medullary pericytes are identified by their expression of a eGFPL10a fusion protein whose expression is driven by a Col1a1 promoter. Pericyte-specific RNA is generated by eGFP-affinity purification of polysomes from medullary lysates and then subject to microarray analysis. Col1a1-eGFPL10a mice were subject to Sham or unilateral ureteral obstruction surgery. Sham kidneys were collected at day 0, and UUO kidneys were collected at day 2 or day 5 for TRAP.
Project description:Identifying new biomarkers and therapeutic targets for podocytopathies such as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) requires a detailed analysis of transcriptional changes in podocytes over the course of disease. Here we used translating ribosome affinity purification (TRAP) to isolate and profile podocyte-specific mRNA in two different models of FSGS. We expressed enhanced green fluorescent protein-tagged to ribosomal protein L10a in podocytes under the control of the collagen-1?1 promoter, enabling one-step podocyte-specific mRNA isolation over the course of disease. This TRAP protocol robustly enriched known podocyte-specific mRNAs. We crossed Col1?1-eGFP-L10a mice with the Actn4(-/-) and Actn4(+/K256E) models of FSGS and analyzed podocyte transcriptional profiles at 2, 6, and 44 weeks of age. Two upregulated podocyte genes in murine FSGS (CXCL1 and DMPK) were found to be upregulated at the protein level in biopsies from patients with FSGS, validating this approach. There was no dilution of podocyte-specific transcripts during disease. These are the first podocyte-specific RNA expression data sets during aging and in two models of FSGS. This approach identified new podocyte proteins that are upregulated in FSGS and defines novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for human glomerular disease.
Project description:Glomerular podocytes are highly specialized epithelial cells and play an essential role in establishing the selective permeability of the glomerular filtration barrier of kidney. Maintaining the viability and structural integrity of podocytes is critical to the clinical management of glomerular diseases, which requires a thorough understanding of podocyte cell biology. As mature podocytes lose proliferative capacity, a conditionally SV40 mutant tsA58-immortalized mouse podocyte line (designated as tsPC) was established from the Immortomouse over 20 years ago. However, the utility of the tsPC cells is hampered by the practical inconvenience of culturing these cells. In this study, we establish a user-friendly and reversibly-immortalized mouse podocyte line (designated as imPOD), on the basis of the tsPC cells by stably expressing the wildtype SV40 T-antigen, which is flanked with FRT sites. We show the imPOD cells exhibit long-term high proliferative activity, which can be effectively reversed by FLP recombinase. The imPOD cells express most podocyte-related markers, including WT-1, Nephrin, Tubulin and Vinculin, but not differentiation marker Synaptopodin. The imPOD cells do not form tumor-like masses in vivo. We further demonstrate that TGF?1 induces a podocyte injury-like response in the FLP-reverted imPOD cells by suppressing the expression of slit diaphragm-associated proteins P-Cadherin and ZO-1 and upregulating the expression of mesenchymal markers, ?-SMA, Vimentin and Nestin, as well as fibrogenic factors CTGF and Col1a1. Collectively, our results strongly demonstrate that the newly engineered imPOD cells should be a valuable tool to study podocyte biology both under normal and under pathological conditions.
Project description:Evidence suggests that loss of podocytes into urine contributes to development of glomerular diseases; shed podocytes are frequently viable and proliferate in culture conditions. To determine the phenotypic characteristics of viable urinary cells derived from human subjects, we established long-term urinary cell culture from two patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and two healthy volunteers, via transformation with the thermosensitive SV40 large T antigen (U19tsA58) together with human telomerase (hTERT). Characterization of arbitrarily selected two clonal cell lines from each human subject was carried out. mRNA expression for the podocyte markers synaptopodin, nestin, and CD2AP were detected in all eight clones. Podocin mRNA was absent from all eight clones. The expression of nephrin, Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1), and podocalyxin mRNA varied among the clones, which may be due to transformation and/or cloning. These results suggest that podocyte cell lines can be established consistently from human urine. The generation of podocyte cell lines from urine of patients and healthy volunteers is novel and will help to advance studies of podocyte cell biology. Further improvements in the approaches to cell transformation and/or cell culture techniques are needed to allow cultured podocytes to fully reproduce in vivo characteristics.
Project description:The podocyte is a remarkable cell type, which encases the capillaries of the kidney glomerulus. Although mesodermal in origin it sends out axonal like projections that wrap around the capillaries. These extend yet finer projections, the foot processes, which interdigitate, leaving between them the slit diaphragms, through which the glomerular filtrate must pass. The podocytes are a subject of keen interest because of their key roles in kidney development and disease.In this report we identified and characterized a novel transgenic mouse line, MafB-GFP, which specifically marked the kidney podocytes from a very early stage of development. These mice were then used to facilitate the fluorescent activated cell sorting based purification of podocytes from embryos at E13.5 and E15.5, as well as adults. Microarrays were then used to globally define the gene expression states of podocytes at these different developmental stages. A remarkable picture emerged, identifying the multiple sets of genes that establish the neuronal, muscle, and phagocytic properties of podocytes. The complete combinatorial code of transcription factors that create the podocyte was characterized, and the global lists of growth factors and receptors they express were defined.The complete molecular character of the in vivo podocyte is established for the first time. The active molecular functions and biological processes further define their unique combination of features. The results provide a resource atlas of gene expression patterns of developing and adult podocytes that will help to guide further research of these incredible cells.
Project description:A major cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is glomerular disease, which can be attributed to a spectrum of podocyte disorders. Podocytes are non-proliferative, terminally differentiated cells. Thus, the limited supply of primary podocytes impedes CKD research. Differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into podocytes has the potential to produce podocytes for disease modeling, drug screening, and cell therapies. In the podocyte differentiation process described here, hPSCs are first induced to primitive streak-like cells by activating canonical Wnt signaling. Next, these cells progress to mesoderm precursors, proliferative nephron progenitors, and eventually become mature podocytes by culturing in a serum-free medium. Podocytes generated via this protocol adopt podocyte morphology, express canonical podocyte markers, and exhibit podocyte phenotypes, including albumin uptake and TGF-β1 triggered cell death. This study provides a simple, defined strategy to generate podocytes for in vitro modeling of podocyte development and disease or for cell therapies.
Project description:Excessive mitochondrial fission plays a key role in podocyte injury in diabetic kidney disease (DKD), and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are important in the development and progression of DKD. However, lncRNA regulation of mitochondrial fission in podocytes is poorly understood. Here, we studied lncRNA maternally expressed gene 3 (Meg3) in mitochondrial fission in vivo and in vitro using human podocytes and Meg3 podocyte-specific knockdown mice. Expression of lncRNA Meg3 in STZ-induced diabetic mice was higher, and correlated with the number of podocytes. Excessive mitochondrial fission of podocytes and renal histopathological and physiological parameters were improved in podocyte-specific Meg3 knockdown diabetic mice. Elongated mitochondria with attenuated podocyte damage, as well as mitochondrial translocation of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), were decreased in Meg3 knockout podocytes. By contrast, increased fragmented mitochondria, podocyte injury, and Drp1 expression and phosphorylation were observed in lncRNA Meg3-overexpressing podocytes. Treatment with Mdivi1 significantly blunted more fragmented mitochondria and reduced podocyte injury in lncRNA Meg3-overexpressing podocytes. Finally, fragmented mitochondria and Drp1 mitochondrial translocation induced by high glucose were reduced following treatment with Mdivi1. Our data show that expression of Meg3 in podocytes in both human cells and diabetic mice was higher, which regulates mitochondrial fission and contributes to podocyte injury through increased Drp1 and its translocation to mitochondria.
Project description:The renal corpuscle of the kidney comprises a glomerular vasculature embraced by podocytes and supported by mesangial myofibroblasts, which ensure plasma filtration at the podocyte-generated slit diaphragm. With a spectrum of podocyte-expressed gene mutations causing chronic disease, an enhanced understanding of podocyte development and function to create relevant in vitro podocyte models is a clinical imperative. To characterize podocyte development, scRNA-seq was performed on human fetal kidneys, identifying distinct transcriptional signatures accompanying the differentiation of functional podocytes from progenitors. Interestingly, organoid-generated podocytes exhibited highly similar, progressive transcriptional profiles despite an absence of the vasculature, although abnormal gene expression was pinpointed in late podocytes. On transplantation into mice, organoid-derived podocytes recruited the host vasculature and partially corrected transcriptional profiles. Thus, human podocyte development is mostly intrinsically regulated and vascular interactions refine maturation. These studies support the application of organoid-derived podocytes to model disease and to restore or replace normal kidney functions.
Project description:We transformed mouse podocytes by ectopic expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4). Compared with podocytes transformed with a thermo-sensitive SV40 large T antigen mutant tsA58U19 (tsT podocytes), podocytes transformed with CDK4 (CDK4 podocytes) exhibited significantly higher expression of nephrin mRNA. Synaptopodin mRNA expression was significantly lower in CDK4 podocytes and in tsT podocytes under growth-permissive conditions (33°C) compared with tsT podocytes under growth-restricted conditions (37°C), which suggests a role for cell cycle arrest in synaptopodin mRNA expression. Confluent CDK4 podocytes showed significantly higher mRNA expression levels for nephrin, synaptopodin, Wilms tumor 1, podocalyxin, and P-cadherin compared with subconfluent cultures. We carried out experiments to clarify roles of various factors in the confluent podocyte cultures; our findings indicate that cell-cell contact promotes expression of five podocyte marker genes studied, that cellular quiescence increases synaptopodin and podocalyxin mRNA expression, and that soluble factors play a role in nephrin mRNA expression. Our findings suggest that CDK4 podocytes are useful tools to study podocyte biology. Furthermore, the role of cell-cell contact in podocyte gene expression may have relevance for podocyte function in vivo.
Project description:Evaluating the mRNA profile of podocytes in the diabetic kidney may indicate genes involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. To determine if the podocyte-specific gene information contained in mRNA profiles of the whole glomerulus of the diabetic kidney accurately reflects gene expression in the isolated podocytes, we crossed Nos3(-/-) IRG mice with podocin-rtTA and TetON-Cre mice for enhanced green fluorescent protein labeling of podocytes before diabetic injury. Diabetes was induced by streptozotocin, and mRNA profiles of isolated glomeruli and sorted podocytes from diabetic and control mice were examined 10 weeks later. Expression of podocyte-specific markers in glomeruli was downregulated in diabetic mice compared with controls. However, expression of these markers was not altered in sorted podocytes from diabetic mice. When mRNA levels of glomeruli were corrected for podocyte number per glomerulus, the differences in podocyte marker expression disappeared. Analysis of the differentially expressed genes in diabetic mice also revealed distinct upregulated pathways in the glomeruli (mitochondrial function, oxidative stress) and in podocytes (actin organization). In conclusion, our data suggest reduced expression of podocyte markers in glomeruli is a secondary effect of reduced podocyte number, thus podocyte-specific gene expression detected in the whole glomerulus may not represent that in podocytes in the diabetic kidney.