Schip1 is a novel podocyte foot process protein that mediates actin cytoskeleton rearrangements and forms a complex with Nherf2 and ezrin.
ABSTRACT: Podocyte foot process effacement accompanied by actin cytoskeleton rearrangements is a cardinal feature of many progressive human proteinuric diseases.By microarray profiling of mouse glomerulus, SCHIP1 emerged as one of the most highly enriched transcripts. We detected Schip1 protein in the kidney glomerulus, specifically in podocytes foot processes. Functionally, Schip1 inactivation in zebrafish by morpholino knock-down results in foot process disorganization and podocyte loss leading to proteinuria. In cultured podocytes Schip1 localizes to cortical actin-rich regions of lamellipodia, where it forms a complex with Nherf2 and ezrin, proteins known to participate in actin remodeling stimulated by PDGF? signaling. Mechanistically, overexpression of Schip1 in vitro causes accumulation of cortical F-actin with dissolution of transversal stress fibers and promotes cell migration in response to PDGF-BB stimulation. Upon actin disassembly by latrunculin A treatment, Schip1 remains associated with the residual F-actin-containing structures, suggesting a functional connection with actin cytoskeleton possibly via its interaction partners. A similar assay with cytochalasin D points to stabilization of cortical actin cytoskeleton in Schip1 overexpressing cells by attenuation of actin depolymerisation.Schip1 is a novel glomerular protein predominantly expressed in podocytes, necessary for the zebrafish pronephros development and function. Schip1 associates with the cortical actin cytoskeleton network and modulates its dynamics in response to PDGF signaling via interaction with the Nherf2/ezrin complex. Its implication in proteinuric diseases remains to be further investigated.
Project description:Proteinuria encompasses diverse causes including both genetic diseases and acquired forms such as diabetic and hypertensive nephropathy. The basis of proteinuria is a disturbance in size selectivity of the glomerular filtration barrier, which largely depends on the podocyte: a terminally differentiated epithelial cell type covering the outer surface of the glomerulus. Compromised podocyte structure is one of the earliest signs of glomerular injury. The phenotype of diverse animal models and podocyte cell culture firmly established the essential role of the actin cytoskeleton in maintaining functional podocyte structure. Podocyte foot processes, actin-based membrane extensions, contain 2 molecularly distinct "hubs" that control actin dynamics: a slit diaphragm and focal adhesions. Although loss of foot processes encompasses disassembly of slit diaphragm multiprotein complexes, as long as cells are attached to the glomerular basement membrane, focal adhesions will be the sites in which stress due to filtration flow is counteracted by forces generated by the actin network in foot processes. Numerous studies within last 20 years have identified actin binding and regulatory proteins as well as integrins as essential components of signaling and actin dynamics at focal adhesions in podocytes, suggesting that some of them may become novel, druggable targets for proteinuric kidney diseases. Here we review evidence supporting the idea that current treatments for chronic kidney diseases beneficially and directly target the podocyte actin cytoskeleton associated with focal adhesions and suggest that therapeutic reagents that target the focal adhesion-regulated actin cytoskeleton in foot processes have potential to modernize treatments for chronic kidney diseases.
Project description:The kidney's vital filtration function depends on the structural integrity of the glomerulus, the proximal portion of the nephron. Within the glomerulus, the architecturally complex podocyte forms the final cellular barrier to filtration. Injury to the podocyte results in a morphological change called foot process effacement, which is a ubiquitous feature of proteinuric diseases. The exact mechanism underlying foot process effacement is not known, but recently it has been proposed that this change might reflect activation of the Rac1 GTPase. To test this hypothesis, we generated a podocyte-specific, inducible transgenic mouse line that expressed constitutively active Rac1. When the Rac1 transgene was induced, we observed a rapid onset of proteinuria with focal foot process effacement. Using superresolution imaging, we verified that the induced transgene was expressed in damaged podocytes with altered foot process morphology. This work sheds new light on the complex balance of Rho GTPase signaling that is required for proper regulation of the podocyte cytoskeleton.
Project description:Podocyte injury is a major determinant of proteinuric kidney disease and the identification of potential therapeutic targets for preventing podocyte injury has clinical importance. Here, we show that histone deacetylase Sirt6 protects against podocyte injury through epigenetic regulation of Notch signaling. Sirt6 is downregulated in renal biopsies from patients with podocytopathies and its expression correlates with glomerular filtration rate. Podocyte-specific deletion of Sirt6 exacerbates podocyte injury and proteinuria in two independent mouse models, diabetic nephropathy, and adriamycin-induced nephropathy. Sirt6 has pleiotropic protective actions in podocytes, including anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects, is involved in actin cytoskeleton maintenance and promotes autophagy. Sirt6 also reduces urokinase plasminogen activator receptor expression, which is a key factor for podocyte foot process effacement and proteinuria. Mechanistically, Sirt6 inhibits Notch1 and Notch4 transcription by deacetylating histone H3K9. We propose Sirt6 as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of proteinuric kidney disease.Podocytes are essential components of the renal glomerular filtration barrier and podocyte dysfunction leads to proteinuric kidney disease. Here Liu et al. show that Sirt6 protects podocytes from apoptosis and inflammation by increasing autophagic flux through inhibition of the Notch pathway.
Project description:Rhophilin-1 is a Rho GTPase-interacting protein, the biologic function of which is largely unknown. Here, we identify and describe the functional role of Rhophilin-1 as a novel podocyte-specific protein of the kidney glomerulus. Rhophilin-1 knockout mice were phenotypically normal at birth but developed albuminuria at about 2 weeks of age. Kidneys from severely albuminuric mice revealed widespread podocyte foot process effacement, thickening of the glomerular basement membrane, and FSGS-like lesions. The absence of any overt changes in the expression of podocyte proteins at the onset of proteinuria suggested that the primary cause of podocyte abnormalities in Rhpn1-null mice was the result of cell-autonomous, Rhophilin-1-dependent signaling events. In culture, Rhophilin-1 was detected at the plasma membrane leading edge of primary podocytes, where it elicited remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton network. This effect of Rhophilin-1 on actin cytoskeleton organization associated with inhibitory effects on Rho-dependent phosphorylation of the myosin regulatory light chain and stress fiber formation. Conversely, phosphorylation of myosin regulatory light chain increased in podocyte foot processes of Rhpn1(-/-) mice, implicating altered actinomyosin contractility in foot process effacement and compromised filtration capacity. Targeted deletion of RhoA in podocytes of Rhophilin-1 knockout mice exacerbated the renal injury. Taken together, our results indicate that Rhophilin-1 is essential for the integrity of the glomerular filtration barrier and that this protein is a key determinant of podocyte cytoskeleton architecture.
Project description:Nephrin (Nphs1) is an adhesion protein that is expressed at the podocyte intercellular junction in the glomerulus. Nphs1 mutations in humans or deletion in animal genetic models results in a developmental failure of foot process formation. A number of studies have shown decrease in expression of nephrin in various proteinuric kidney diseases as well as in animal models of glomerular disease. Decrease in nephrin expression has been suggested to precede podocyte loss and linked to the progression of kidney disease. Whether the decrease in expression of nephrin is related to loss of podocytes or lead to podocyte detachment is unclear. To answer this central question we generated an inducible model of nephrin deletion (Nphs1Tam-Cre) in order to lower nephrin expression in healthy adult mice. Following tamoxifen-induction there was a 75% decrease in nephrin expression by 14 days. The Nphs1Tam-Cre mice had normal foot process ultrastructure and intact filtration barriers up to 4-6 weeks post-induction. Despite the loss of nephrin expression, the podocyte number and density remained unchanged during the initial period. Unexpectedly, nephrin expression, albeit at low levels persisted at the slit diaphragm up to 16-20 weeks post-tamoxifen induction. The mice became progressively proteinuric with glomerular hypertrophy and scarring reminiscent of focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis at 20 weeks. Four week-old Nphs1 knockout mice subjected to protamine sulfate model of podocyte injury demonstrated failure to recover from foot process effacement following heparin sulfate. Similarly, Nphs1 knockout mice failed to recover following nephrotoxic serum (NTS) with persistence of proteinuria and foot process effacement. Our results suggest that as in development, nephrin is necessary for maintenance of a healthy glomerular filter. In contrast to the developmental phenotype, lowering nephrin expression in a mature glomerulus resulted in a slowly progressive disease that histologically resembles FSGS a disease linked closely with podocyte depletion. Podocytes with low levels of nephrin expression are both susceptible and unable to recover following perturbation. Our results suggest that decreased nephrin expression independent of podocyte loss occurring as an early event in proteinuric kidney diseases might play a role in disease progression.
Project description:Accumulating evidence suggests that podocytes are direct targets of many classic antiproteinuric drugs. The immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine A (CsA), which is a calcineurin inhibitor, is used to treat proteinuric kidney diseases. One novel mechanism by which CsA reduces proteinuria is by directly stabilizing the podocyte cytoskeleton. Previous studies showed that calcineurin can directly regulate WAVE1 within mouse striatal slices. In this study, WAVE1 was expressed in podocytes and was localized in the podocyte cell bodies and foot processes (FPs). WAVE1 expression increased in both in vivo and in vitro models of puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN)-induced podocyte injury. CsA restored WAVE1 expression and also partially rescued the disordered F-actin arrangement after PAN injury. Co-immunoprecipitation assays showed that calcineurin directly interacted with WAVE1 and regulated WAVE1 phosphorylation in podocytes. Synaptopodin is a well-characterized target of CsA. WAVE1 overexpression and synaptopodin knockdown experiments directly demonstrated that WAVE1 expression is not dependent on synaptopodin expression, and vice versa. Overexpression of WAVE1 using a WAVE1 plasmid disrupted F-actin structure and promoted podocyte migration compared with the empty vector group. Therefore, WAVE1 may be a novel molecular target for the maintenance of podocyte FPs and for antiproteinuric treatment in the future.
Project description:Kidney podocytes and their foot processes maintain the ultrafiltration barrier and prevent urinary protein loss (proteinuria). Here we show that the GTPase dynamin is essential for podocyte function. During proteinuric kidney disease, induction of cytoplasmic cathepsin L leads to cleavage of dynamin at an evolutionary conserved site, resulting in reorganization of the podocyte actin cytoskeleton and proteinuria. Dynamin mutants that lack the cathepsin L site, or render the cathepsin L site inaccessible through dynamin self-assembly, are resistant to cathepsin L cleavage. When delivered into mice, these mutants restored podocyte function and resolve proteinuria. Our study identifies dynamin as a critical regulator of renal permselectivity that is specifically targeted by proteolysis under pathological conditions.
Project description:Podocytes are essential for the function of the kidney glomerular filter. A highly differentiated cytoskeleton is requisite for their integrity. Although much knowledge has been gained on the organization of cortical actin networks in podocyte's foot processes, less is known about the molecular organization of the microtubular cytoskeleton in primary processes and the cell body. To gain an insight into the organization of the microtubular cytoskeleton of the podocyte, we systematically analyzed the expression of microtubule associated proteins (Maps), a family of microtubules interacting proteins with known functions as regulator, scaffold and guidance proteins. We identified microtubule associated protein 1b (MAP1B) to be specifically enriched in podocytes in human and rodent kidney. Using immunogold labeling in electron microscopy, we were able to demonstrate an enrichment of MAP1B in primary processes. A similar association of MAP1B with the microtubule cytoskeleton was detected in cultured podocytes. Subcellular distribution of MAP1B HC and LC1 was analyzed using a double fluorescent reporter MAP1B fusion protein. Subsequently we analyzed mice constitutively depleted of MAP1B. Interestingly, MAP1B KO was not associated with any functional or structural alterations pointing towards a redundancy of MAP proteins in podocytes. In summary, we established MAP1B as a specific marker protein of the podocyte microtubular cytoskeleton.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Podocyte injury is the hallmark of proteinuric kidney diseases, such as FSGS and minimal change disease, and destabilization of the podocyte's actin cytoskeleton contributes to podocyte dysfunction in many of these conditions. Although agents, such as glucocorticoids and cyclosporin, stabilize the actin cytoskeleton, systemic toxicity hinders chronic use. We previously showed that loss of the kidney-enriched zinc finger transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 15 (KLF15) increases susceptibility to proteinuric kidney disease and attenuates the salutary effects of retinoic acid and glucocorticoids in the podocyte. METHODS:We induced podocyte-specific KLF15 in two proteinuric murine models, HIV-1 transgenic (Tg26) mice and adriamycin (ADR)-induced nephropathy, and used RNA sequencing of isolated glomeruli and subsequent enrichment analysis to investigate pathways mediated by podocyte-specific KLF15 in Tg26 mice. We also explored in cultured human podocytes the potential mediating role of Wilms Tumor 1 (WT1), a transcription factor critical for podocyte differentiation. RESULTS:In Tg26 mice, inducing podocyte-specific KLF15 attenuated podocyte injury, glomerulosclerosis, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and inflammation, while improving renal function and overall survival; it also attenuated podocyte injury in ADR-treated mice. Enrichment analysis of RNA sequencing from the Tg26 mouse model shows that KLF15 induction activates pathways involved in stabilization of actin cytoskeleton, focal adhesion, and podocyte differentiation. Transcription factor enrichment analysis, with further experimental validation, suggests that KLF15 activity is in part mediated by WT1. CONCLUSIONS:Inducing podocyte-specific KLF15 attenuates kidney injury by directly and indirectly upregulating genes critical for podocyte differentiation, suggesting that KLF15 induction might be a potential strategy for treating proteinuric kidney disease.
Project description:FSGS is characterized by segmental scarring of the glomerulus and is a leading cause of kidney failure. Identification of genes causing FSGS has improved our understanding of disease mechanisms and points to defects in the glomerular epithelial cell, the podocyte, as a major factor in disease pathogenesis. Using a combination of genome-wide linkage studies and whole-exome sequencing in a kindred with familial FSGS, we identified a missense mutation R431C in anillin (ANLN), an F-actin binding cell cycle gene, as a cause of FSGS. We screened 250 additional families with FSGS and found another variant, G618C, that segregates with disease in a second family with FSGS. We demonstrate upregulation of anillin in podocytes in kidney biopsy specimens from individuals with FSGS and kidney samples from a murine model of HIV-1-associated nephropathy. Overexpression of R431C mutant ANLN in immortalized human podocytes results in enhanced podocyte motility. The mutant anillin displays reduced binding to the slit diaphragm-associated scaffold protein CD2AP. Knockdown of the ANLN gene in zebrafish morphants caused a loss of glomerular filtration barrier integrity, podocyte foot process effacement, and an edematous phenotype. Collectively, these findings suggest that anillin is important in maintaining the integrity of the podocyte actin cytoskeleton.