BackgroundPodocytes serve as an important constituent of the glomerular filtration barrier. Recently, we and others identified Myo1e as a key molecular component of the podocyte cytoskeleton.
ResultsMyo1e mRNA and protein was expressed in human and mouse kidney sections as determined by Northern blot and reverse transcriptase PCR, and its expression was more evident in podocytes by immunofluorescence. By specific knock-down of MYO1E in zebrafish, the injected larvae exhibited pericardial edema and pronephric cysts, consistent with the appearance of protein in condensed incubation supernate. Furthermore, specific inhibition of Myo1e expression in a conditionally immortalized podocyte cell line induced morphological changes, actin cytoskeleton rearrangement, and dysfunction in cell proliferation, migration, endocytosis, and adhesion with the glomerular basement membrane.
ConclusionsOur results revealed that Myo1e is a key component contributing to the functional integrity of podocytes. Its impairment may cause actin cytoskeleton re-organization, alteration of cell shape, and membrane transport, and podocyte drop-out from the glomerular basement membrane, which might eventually lead to an impaired glomerular filtration barrier and proteinuria.