NPHP4 is necessary for normal photoreceptor ribbon synapse maintenance and outer segment formation, and for sperm development.
ABSTRACT: Nephronophthisis (NPHP) is an autosomal recessive kidney disease that is often associated with vision and/or brain defects. To date, 11 genes are known to cause NPHP. The gene products, while structurally unrelated, all localize to cilia or centrosomes. Although mouse models of NPHP are available for 9 of the 11 genes, none has been described for nephronophthisis 4 (Nphp4). Here we report a novel, chemically induced mutant, nmf192, that bears a nonsense mutation in exon 4 of Nphp4. Homozygous mutant Nphp4(nmf192/nmf192) mice do not exhibit renal defects, phenotypes observed in human patients bearing mutations in NPHP4, but they do develop severe photoreceptor degeneration and extinguished rod and cone ERG responses by 9 weeks of age. Photoreceptor outer segments (OS) fail to develop properly, and some OS markers mislocalize to the inner segments and outer nuclear layer in the Nphp4(nmf192/nmf192) mutant retina. Despite NPHP4 localization to the transition zone in the connecting cilia (CC), the CC appear to be normal in structure and ciliary transport function is partially retained. Likewise, synaptic ribbons develop normally but then rapidly degenerate by P14. Finally, Nphp4(nmf192/nmf192) male mutants are sterile and show reduced sperm motility and epididymal sperm counts. Although Nphp4(nmf192/nmf192) mice fail to recapitulate the kidney phenotype of NPHP, they will provide a valuable tool to further elucidate how NPHP4 functions in the retina and male reproductive organs.
Project description:The retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator (RPGR) and nephrocystin-4 (NPHP4) comprise two key partners of the assembly complex of the RPGR-interacting protein 1 (RPGRIP1). Mutations in RPGR and NPHP4 are linked to severe multisystemic diseases with strong retinal involvement of photoreceptor neurons, whereas those in RPGRIP1 cause the fulminant photoreceptor dystrophy, Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). Further, mutations in Rpgrip1 and Nphp4 suppress the elaboration of the outer segment compartment of photoreceptor neurons by elusive mechanisms, the understanding of which has critical implications in uncovering the pathogenesis of syndromic retinal dystrophies. Here we show RPGRIP1 localizes to the photoreceptor connecting cilium (CC) distally to the centriole/basal body marker, centrin-2 and the ciliary marker, acetylated-α-tubulin. NPHP4 abuts proximally RPGRIP1, RPGR and the serologically defined colon cancer antigen-8 (SDCCAG8), a protein thought to partake in the RPGRIP1 interactome and implicated also in retinal-renal ciliopathies. Ultrastructurally, RPGRIP1 localizes exclusively throughout the photoreceptor CC and Rpgrip1(nmf247) photoreceptors present shorter cilia with a ruffled membrane. Strikingly, Rpgrip1(nmf247) mice without RPGRIP1 expression lack NPHP4 and RPGR in photoreceptor cilia, whereas the SDCCAG8 and acetylated-α-tubulin ciliary localizations are strongly decreased, even though the NPHP4 and SDCCAG8 expression levels are unaffected and those of acetylated-α-tubulin and γ-tubulin are upregulated. Further, RPGRIP1 loss in photoreceptors shifts the subcellular partitioning of SDCCAG8 and NPHP4 to the membrane fraction associated to the endoplasmic reticulum. Conversely, the ciliary localization of these proteins is unaffected in glomeruli or tubular kidney cells of Rpgrip1(nmf247), but NPHP4 is downregulated developmentally and selectively in kidney cortex. Hence, RPGRIP1 presents cell type-dependent pathological effects crucial to the ciliary targeting and subcellular partitioning of NPHP4, RPGR and SDCCAG8, and acetylation of ciliary α-tubulin or its ciliary targeting, selectively in photoreceptors, but not kidney cells, and these pathological effects underlie photoreceptor degeneration and LCA.
Project description:Retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator (RPGR) is a cilia-centrosomal protein that frequently mutates in X-linked retinal degeneration and associated disorders. RPGR interacts with multiple ciliary proteins in the retina. Perturbations in the assembly of RPGR complexes are associated with retinal degeneration. This study was undertaken to delineate the composition and dissection of RPGR complexes in mammalian retinas.Immunoprecipitation of RPGR from ciliary fraction of bovine retina was performed, followed by mass spectrometry analysis. The glutathione S-transferase pull-down assay was performed to validate the interaction. Immunodepletion experiments were performed to dissect the partitioning of RPGR in different protein complexes in mammalian retinas.We found that RPGR associates with a ciliary protein nephrocystin-4 (nephroretinin; NPHP4) that is mutated in nephronophthisis (NPH) and RP (Senior-Løken syndrome). This association is abolished in the Rpgr-knockout mouse retina. The RCC1-like domain of RPGR interacts with the N-terminal 316 amino acids of NPHP4. In the retina, RPGR also associates with NPHP1, an NPHP4-interacting protein; RPGR interacts directly with amino acids 243-586 of NPHP1. We further show that, in the retina, RPGR associates with and is partitioned in at least two different complexes with NPHP-associated proteins, (i) NPHP1, NPHP2, and NPHP5, and (ii) NPHP4, NPHP6, and NPHP8.RPGR may regulate some complexes with NPHP proteins in the mammalian retina. The disruption of these complexes may contribute to the pathogenesis of retinal degeneration in X-linked RP and associated ciliary diseases.
Project description:Nephronophthisis (NPHP), an autosomal recessive cystic kidney disease, leads to chronic renal failure in children. The genes mutated in NPHP1 and NPHP4 have been identified, and a gene locus associated with infantile nephronophthisis (NPHP2) was mapped. The kidney phenotype of NPHP2 combines clinical features of NPHP and polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Here, we identify inversin (INVS) as the gene mutated in NPHP2 with and without situs inversus. We show molecular interaction of inversin with nephrocystin, the product of the gene mutated in NPHP1 and interaction of nephrocystin with beta-tubulin, a main component of primary cilia. We show that nephrocystin, inversin and beta-tubulin colocalize to primary cilia of renal tubular cells. Furthermore, we produce a PKD-like renal cystic phenotype and randomization of heart looping by knockdown of invs expression in zebrafish. The interaction and colocalization in cilia of inversin, nephrocystin and beta-tubulin connect pathogenetic aspects of NPHP to PKD, to primary cilia function and to left-right axis determination.
Project description:The cystic kidney diseases nephronophthisis (NPHP), Meckel-Gruber syndrome (MKS) and Joubert syndrome (JBTS) share an underlying etiology of dysfunctional cilia. Patients diagnosed with NPHP type II have mutations in the gene INVS (also known as NPHP2), which encodes inversin, a cilia localizing protein. Here, we show that the C. elegans inversin ortholog, NPHP-2, localizes to the middle segment of sensory cilia and that nphp-2 is partially redundant with nphp-1 and nphp-4 (orthologs of human NPHP1 and NPHP4, respectively) for cilia placement within the head and tail sensilla. nphp-2 also genetically interacts with MKS ciliopathy gene orthologs, including mks-1, mks-3, mks-6, mksr-1 and mksr-2, in a sensilla-dependent manner to control cilia formation and placement. However, nphp-2 is not required for correct localization of the NPHP- and MKS-encoded ciliary transition zone proteins or for intraflagellar transport (IFT). We conclude that INVS/NPHP2 is conserved in C. elegans and that nphp-2 plays an important role in C. elegans cilia by acting as a modifier of the NPHP and MKS pathways to control cilia formation and development.
Project description:Nephronophthisis (NPHP) is the most common genetic cause of end-stage renal disease in children and young adults. In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Caenorhabditis elegans, and mammals, the NPHP1 and NPHP4 gene products nephrocystin-1 and nephrocystin-4 localize to basal bodies or ciliary transition zones (TZs), but their function in this location remains unknown. We show here that loss of C. elegans NPHP-1 and NPHP-4 from TZs is tolerated in developing cilia but causes changes in localization of specific ciliary components and a broad range of subtle axonemal ultrastructural defects. In amphid channel cilia, nphp-4 mutations cause B tubule defects that further disrupt intraflagellar transport (IFT). We propose that NPHP-1 and NPHP-4 act globally at the TZ to regulate ciliary access of the IFT machinery, axonemal structural components, and signaling molecules, and that perturbing this balance results in cell type-specific phenotypes.
Project description:Nephronophthisis (NPH) is an autosomal-recessive cystic kidney disease and represents the most common genetic cause for end-stage renal disease in children and adolescents. It can be caused by the mutation of genes encoding for the nephrocystin proteins (NPHPs). All NPHPs localize to primary cilia, classifying this disease as a "ciliopathy." The primary cilium is a critical regulator of several cell signaling pathways. Cystogenesis in the kidney is thought to involve overactivation of canonical Wnt signaling, which is negatively regulated by the primary cilium and several NPH proteins, although the mechanism remains unclear. Jade-1 has recently been identified as a novel ubiquitin ligase targeting the canonical Wnt downstream effector ?-catenin for proteasomal degradation. Here, we identify Jade-1 as a novel component of the NPHP protein complex. Jade-1 colocalizes with NPHP1 at the transition zone of primary cilia and interacts with NPHP4. Furthermore, NPHP4 stabilizes protein levels of Jade-1 and promotes the translocation of Jade-1 to the nucleus. Finally, NPHP4 and Jade-1 additively inhibit canonical Wnt signaling, and this genetic interaction is conserved in zebrafish. The stabilization and nuclear translocation of Jade-1 by NPHP4 enhances the ability of Jade-1 to negatively regulate canonical Wnt signaling. Loss of this repressor function in nephronophthisis might be an important factor promoting Wnt activation and contributing to cyst formation.
Project description:For nephronophthisis (NPHP), the primary genetic cause of chronic renal failure in young adults, three loci have been mapped. To identify a new locus for NPHP, we here report on total-genome linkage analysis in seven families with NPHP, in whom we had excluded linkage to all three known NPHP loci. LOD scores >1 were obtained at nine loci, which were then fine mapped at 1-cM intervals. Extensive total-genome haplotype analysis revealed homozygosity in one family, in the region of the PCLN1 gene. Subsequent mutational analysis in this gene revealed PCLN1 mutations, thereby allowing exclusion of this family as a phenocopy. Multipoint linkage analysis for the remaining six families with NPHP together yielded a maximum LOD score (Z(max)) of 8.9 (at D1S253). We thus identified a new locus, NPHP4, for nephronophthisis. Markers D1S2660 and D1S2642 are flanking NPHP4 at a 2.9-cM critical interval. In one family with NPHP4, extensive genealogical studies were conducted, revealing consanguinity during the 17th century. On the basis of haplotype sharing by descent, we obtained a multipoint Z(max) of 5.8 for D1S253 in this kindred alone. In addition, we were able to localize to the NPHP4 locus a new locus for Senior-Løken syndrome, an NPHP variant associated with retinitis pigmentosa.
Project description:Cone-rod dystrophy is a retinal degenerative disorder occurring naturally in man and dog. Here we identify a novel gene for early-onset cone-rod dystrophy in the wire-haired dachshund. For the first time, we use genome-wide association-based Sibling Transmission Disequilibrium Test (sibTDT) analysis of only 13 discordant sib-pairs to identify a single significantly associated 6.5-Mb region (PrawTDT = 4.8 x 10(-5), PgenomeTDT = 6 x 10(-4)) on canine chromosome 5, containing more than 70 genes. Segregation studies using microsatellites in the candidate region including additional meiosis supported the sibTDT analysis but could not further reduce the area. Candidate gene resequencing identified a 180-bp deletion in exon/intron 5 of NPHP4 (nephronophthisis 4, also known as nephroretinin). RT-PCR analysis of NPHP4 in cases and controls showed exon skipping of exon 5, resulting in a truncated protein that retains the binding domain interacting with nephronophthisis 1 (also known as nephrocystin-1) in the kidney but lacks the domain interacting with RPGRIP1 in retina. We suggest that this deletion in the canine NPHP4 gene is the cause of cone-rod dystrophy in the standard wire-haired dachshund. In humans, mutations in NPHP4 have been associated with simultaneous eye and kidney disease. Here we describe the first naturally occurring mutation in NPHP4 without additional kidney disease. Further studies will permit elucidation of the complex molecular mechanism of this retinopathy and the development of potential therapies.
Project description:Meckel-Gruber syndrome (MKS), nephronophthisis (NPHP), and Joubert syndrome (JBTS) are a group of heterogeneous cystic kidney disorders with partially overlapping loci. Many of the proteins associated with these diseases interact and localize to cilia and/or basal bodies. One of these proteins is MKS1, which is disrupted in some MKS patients and contains a B9 motif of unknown function that is found in two other mammalian proteins, B9D2 and B9D1. Caenorhabditis elegans also has three B9 proteins: XBX-7 (MKS1), TZA-1 (B9D2), and TZA-2 (B9D1). Herein, we report that the C. elegans B9 proteins form a complex that localizes to the base of cilia. Mutations in the B9 genes do not overtly affect cilia formation unless they are in combination with a mutation in nph-1 or nph-4, the homologues of human genes (NPHP1 and NPHP4, respectively) that are mutated in some NPHP patients. Our data indicate that the B9 proteins function redundantly with the nephrocystins to regulate the formation and/or maintenance of cilia and dendrites in the amphid and phasmid ciliated sensory neurons. Together, these data suggest that the human homologues of the novel B9 genes B9D2 and B9D1 will be strong candidate loci for pathologies in human MKS, NPHP, and JBTS.
Project description:A spectrum of complex oligogenic disorders called the ciliopathies have been connected to dysfunction of cilia. Among the ciliopathies are Nephronophthisis (NPHP), characterized by cystic kidney disease and retinal degeneration, and Meckel-Gruber syndrome (MKS), a gestational lethal condition with skeletal abnormalities, cystic kidneys and CNS malformation. Mutations in multiple genes have been identified in NPHP and MKS patients, and an unexpected finding has been that mutations within the same gene can cause either disorder. Further, there is minimal genotype-phenotype correlation and despite recessive inheritance, numerous patients were identified as having a single heterozygous mutation. This has made it difficult to determine the significance of these mutations on disease pathogenesis and led to the hypothesis that clinical presentation in an individual will be determined by genetic interactions between mutations in multiple cilia-related genes. Here we utilize Caenorhabditis elegans and cilia-associated behavioral and morphologic assays to evaluate the pathogenic potential of eight previously reported human NPHP4 missense mutations. We assess the impact of these mutations on C. elegans NPHP-4 function, localization and evaluate potential interactions with mutations in MKS complex genes, mksr-2 and mksr-1. Six out of eight nphp-4 mutations analyzed alter ciliary function, and three of these modify the severity of the phenotypes caused by disruption of mksr-2 and mksr-1. Collectively, our studies demonstrate the utility of C. elegans as a tool to assess the pathogenicity of mutations in ciliopathy genes and provide insights into the complex genetic interactions contributing to the diversity of phenotypes associated with cilia disorders.