Structural characterization of the C-terminal coiled-coil domains of wild-type and kidney disease-associated mutants of apolipoprotein L1.
ABSTRACT: Trypanosomes that cause sleeping sickness endocytose apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1)-containing trypanolytic factors from human serum, leading to trypanolytic death through generation of APOL1-associated lytic pores in trypanosomal membranes. The trypanosome Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense counteracts trypanolysis by expressing the surface protein serum response-associated (SRA), which can bind APOL1 common variant G0 to block its trypanolytic activity. However, two missense variants in the C terminal predicted coiled-coil (CC) domains of human APOL1 G1 (S342G/I384M) and G2 (?N388Y389) decrease or abrogate APOL1 binding to T. brucei rhodesiense SRA, thus preserving APOL1 trypanolytic activity. These evolutionarily selected APOL1 missense variants, found at a high frequency in some populations of African descent, also confer elevated risk of kidney disease. Understanding the SRA-APOL1 interaction and the role of APOL1 G1 and G2 variants in kidney disease demands structural characterization of the APOL1 CC domain. Using CD, heteronuclear NMR, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation on structural homology models, we report here unique and dynamic solution conformations of nephropathy variants G1 and G2 as compared with the common variant G0. Conformational plasticity in G1 and G2 CC domains led to interhelical ?1-?2 approximation coupled with secondary structural changes and delimited motional properties absent in the G0 CC domain. The G1 substitutions conferred local structural changes principally along helix ?1, whereas the G2 deletion altered the structure of both helix ?2 and helix ?1. These dynamic features of APOL1 CC variants likely reflect their intrinsic structural properties, and should help interpret future APOL1 structural studies and define the contribution of APOL1 risk variants to kidney disease.
Project description:ApolipoproteinL1 (APOL1) protects humans and some primates against several African trypanosomes. APOL1 genetic variants strongly associated with kidney disease in African Americans have additional trypanolytic activity against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, the cause of acute African sleeping sickness. We combined genetic, physiological, and biochemical studies to explore coevolution between the APOL1 gene and trypanosomes. We analyzed the APOL1 sequence in modern and archaic humans and baboons along with geographic distribution in present day Africa to understand how the kidney risk variants evolved. Then, we tested Old World monkey, human, and engineered APOL1 variants for their ability to kill human infective trypanosomes in vivo to identify the molecular mechanism whereby human trypanolytic APOL1 variants evade T. brucei rhodesiense virulence factor serum resistance-associated protein (SRA). For one APOL1 kidney risk variant, a two-residue deletion of amino acids 388 and 389 causes a shift in a single lysine residue that mimics the Old World monkey sequence, which augments trypanolytic activity by preventing SRA binding. A second human APOL1 kidney risk allele, with an amino acid substitution that also restores sequence alignment with Old World monkeys, protected against T. brucei rhodesiense due in part to reduced SRA binding. Both APOL1 risk variants induced tissue injury in murine livers, the site of transgenic gene expression. Our study shows that both genetic variants of human APOL1 that protect against T. brucei rhodesiense have recapitulated molecular signatures found in Old World monkeys and raises the possibility that APOL1 variants have broader innate immune activity that extends beyond trypanosomes.
Project description:Reduced susceptibility to infectious disease can increase the frequency of otherwise deleterious alleles. In populations of African ancestry, two apolipoprotein-L1 (APOL1) variants with a recessive kidney disease risk, named G1 and G2, occur at high frequency. APOL1 is a trypanolytic protein that confers innate resistance to most African trypanosomes, but not Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense or T.b. gambiense, which cause human African trypanosomiasis. In this case-control study, we test the prevailing hypothesis that these APOL1 variants reduce trypanosomiasis susceptibility, resulting in their positive selection in sub-Saharan Africa. We demonstrate a five-fold dominant protective association for G2 against T.b. rhodesiense infection. Furthermore, we report unpredicted strong opposing associations with T.b. gambiense disease outcome. G2 associates with faster progression of T.b. gambiense trypanosomiasis, while G1 associates with asymptomatic carriage and undetectable parasitemia. These results implicate both forms of human African trypanosomiasis in the selection and persistence of otherwise detrimental APOL1 kidney disease variants.
Project description:Coding variants in the APOL1 gene are associated with kidney diseases in African ancestral populations; yet, the underlying biologic mechanisms remain uncertain. Variant-dependent autophagic and cytotoxic cell death have been proposed as pathogenic pathways mediating kidney injury. To examine this possibility, we conditionally expressed APOL1-G0 (reference), -G1, and -G2 (variants) using a tetracycline-regulated system in HEK293 cells. Autophagy was monitored biochemically and cell death was measured using multiple assays. We measured intracellular Na+ and K+ content with atomic absorption spectroscopy and APOL1-dependent currents with whole-cell patch clamping. Neither reference nor variant APOL1s induced autophagy. At high expression levels, APOL1-G0, -G1, and -G2 inserted into the plasma membrane and formed pH-sensitive cation channels, causing collapse of cellular Na+ and K+ gradients, phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, and cell death, without variant-dependent differences. APOL1-G0 and -G2 exhibited similar channel properties in whole-cell patch clamp experiments. At low expression levels, neither reference nor variant APOL1s localized on the plasma membrane, Na+ and K+ gradients were maintained, and cells remained viable. Our results indicate that APOL1-mediated pore formation is critical for the trypanolytic activity of APOL1 and drives APOL1-mediated cytotoxicity in overexpression systems. The absence of cytotoxicity at physiologic expression levels suggests variant-dependent intracellular K+ loss and cytotoxicity does not drive kidney disease progression.
Project description:Apolipoprotein L-I (apoL1) is a human-specific serum protein that kills Trypanosoma brucei through ionic pore formation in endosomal membranes of the parasite. The T. brucei subspecies rhodesiense and gambiense resist this lytic activity and can infect humans, causing sleeping sickness. In the case of T. b. rhodesiense, resistance to lysis involves interaction of the Serum Resistance-Associated (SRA) protein with the C-terminal helix of apoL1. We undertook a mutational and deletional analysis of the C-terminal helix of apoL1 to investigate the linkage between interaction with SRA and lytic potential for different T. brucei subspecies. We confirm that the C-terminal helix is the SRA-interacting domain. Although in E. coli this domain was dispensable for ionic pore-forming activity, its interaction with SRA resulted in inhibition of this activity. Different mutations affecting the C-terminal helix reduced the interaction of apoL1 with SRA. However, mutants in the L370-L392 leucine zipper also lost in vitro trypanolytic activity. Truncating and/or mutating the C-terminal sequence of human apoL1 like that of apoL1-like sequences of Papio anubis resulted in both loss of interaction with SRA and acquired ability to efficiently kill human serum-resistant T. b. rhodesiense parasites, in vitro as well as in transgenic mice. These findings demonstrate that SRA interaction with the C-terminal helix of apoL1 inhibits its pore-forming activity and determines resistance of T. b. rhodesiense to human serum. In addition, they provide a possible explanation for the ability of Papio serum to kill T. b. rhodesiense, and offer a perspective to generate transgenic cattle resistant to both T. b. brucei and T. b. rhodesiense.
Project description:People of recent sub-Saharan African ancestry develop kidney failure much more frequently than other groups. A large fraction of this disparity is due to two coding sequence variants in the APOL1 gene. Inheriting two copies of these APOL1 risk variants, known as G1 and G2, causes high rates of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), HIV-associated nephropathy and hypertension-associated end-stage kidney disease. Disease risk follows a recessive mode of inheritance, which is puzzling given the considerable data that G1 and G2 are toxic gain-of-function variants. We developed coisogenic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic mice harboring either the wild-type (G0), G1 or G2 forms of human APOL1. Expression of interferon gamma (IFN-γ) via plasmid tail vein injection results in upregulation of APOL1 protein levels together with robust induction of heavy proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis in G1/G1 and G2/G2 but not G0/G0 mice. The disease phenotype was greater in G2/G2 mice. Neither heterozygous (G1/G0 or G2/G0) risk variant mice nor hemizygous (G1/-, G2/-) mice had significant kidney injury in response to IFN-γ, although the heterozygous mice had a greater proteinuric response than the hemizygous mice, suggesting that the lack of significant disease in humans heterozygous for G1 or G2 is not due to G0 rescue of G1 or G2 toxicity. Studies using additional mice (multicopy G2 and a non-isogenic G0 mouse) supported the notion that disease is largely a function of the level of risk variant APOL1 expression. Together, these findings shed light on the recessive nature of APOL1-nephropathy and present an important model for future studies.
Project description:Two coding sequence variants (G1 and G2) of Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) gene have been implicated as a higher risk factor for chronic kidney diseases (CKD) in African Americans when compared with European Americans. Previous studies have suggested that the APOL1 G1 and G2 variant proteins are more toxic to kidney cells than the wild-type APOL1 G0, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. To determine whether endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress contributes to podocyte toxicity, we generated human podocytes (HPs) that stably overexpressed APOL1 G0, G1, or G2 (Vec/HPs, G0/HPs, G1/HPs, and G2/HPs). Propidium iodide staining showed that HP overexpressing the APOL1 G1 or G2 variant exhibited a higher rate of necrosis when compared with those overexpressing the wild-type G0 counterpart. Consistently, the expression levels of nephrin and podocin proteins were significantly decreased in the G1- or G2-overexpressing cells despite the maintenance of their mRNA expressions levels. In contrast, the expression of the 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein ((GRP78), also known as the binding Ig protein, BiP) and the phosphorylation of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 1 (eIF1) were significantly elevated in the G1/HPs and G2/HPs, suggesting a possible occurrence of ER stress in these cells. Furthermore, ER stress inhibitors not only restored nephrin protein expression, but also provided protection against necrosis in G1/HPs and G2/HPs, suggesting that APOL1 risk variants cause podocyte injury partly through enhancing ER stress.
Project description:Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) independently predicts chronic kidney disease (CKD) incidence and progression. Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) gene variants G1 and G2, but not the reference allele (G0), are associated with an increased risk of CKD in individuals of recent African ancestry. Here we show in two large, unrelated cohorts that decline in kidney function associated with APOL1 risk variants was dependent on plasma suPAR levels: APOL1-related risk was attenuated in patients with lower suPAR, and strengthened in those with higher suPAR levels. Mechanistically, surface plasmon resonance studies identified high-affinity interactions between suPAR, APOL1 and ?v?3 integrin, whereby APOL1 protein variants G1 and G2 exhibited higher affinity for suPAR-activated avb3 integrin than APOL1 G0. APOL1 G1 or G2 augments ?v?3 integrin activation and causes proteinuria in mice in a suPAR-dependent manner. The synergy of circulating factor suPAR and APOL1 G1 or G2 on ?v?3 integrin activation is a mechanism for CKD.
Project description:Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) genetic variants G1 and G2, compared to the common allele G0, are major risk factors for non-diabetic kidney disease in African descent populations. APOL1 is a minor protein component of HDL, as well as being expressed in podocytes and vascular cells. Reverse cholesterol transport involves the transport of cholesterol to HDL by cellular ATP-binding cassette; ABCA1 and ABCG1 with subsequent delivery from peripheral tissues to the liver. With impaired reverse cholesterol transport, lipid accumulation occurs and macrophages morphologically transform into foam cells, releasing inflammatory factors. We asked whether the APOL1 risk variants alter peripheral cholesterol metabolism and specifically affect macrophage cholesterol efflux. Tissues and bone marrow (BM)-derived monocytes were isolated from wild-type mice (WT) and from BAC/APOL1 transgenic (APOL1-G0, APOL1-G1, and APOL1-G2) mice, which carry a bacterial artificial chromosome that contains the human APOL1 genomic region. Monocytes were differentiated into macrophages using M-CSF, and then polarized into M1 and M2 macrophages. Cholesterol content, cholesterol efflux, and ABCA1 and ABCG1 mRNA expression were measured. Kidney, spleen, and bone marrow-derived macrophages from APOL1-G1 and -G2 mice showed increased cholesterol accumulation and decreased ABCA1 and ABCG1 mRNA levels. BM-derived macrophages from APOL1-G1 and -G2 mice showed significantly reduced cholesterol efflux compared to WT or APOL1-G0 macrophages. Taken together, the evidence suggests that APOL1-G1 and -G2 risk variants impaired reverse cholesterol transport through decreased expression of cholesterol efflux transporters suggesting a possible mechanism to promote macrophage foam cell formation, driving inflammation in the glomerulus and renal interstitium.
Project description:UNLABELLED:African trypanosomes, except Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, which cause human African trypanosomiasis, are lysed by the human serum protein apolipoprotein L1 (ApoL1). These two subspecies can resist human ApoL1 because they express the serum resistance proteins T. b. gambiense glycoprotein (TgsGP) and serum resistance-associated protein (SRA), respectively. Whereas in T. b. rhodesiense, SRA is necessary and sufficient to inhibit ApoL1, in T. b. gambiense, TgsGP cannot protect against high ApoL1 uptake, so different additional mechanisms contribute to limit this uptake. Here we report a complex interplay between trypanosomes and an ApoL1 variant, revealing important insights into innate human immunity against these parasites. Using whole-genome sequencing, we characterized an atypical T. b. gambiense infection in a patient in Ghana. We show that the infecting trypanosome has diverged from the classical T. b. gambiense strains and lacks the TgsGP defense mechanism against human serum. By sequencing the ApoL1 gene of the patient and subsequent in vitro mutagenesis experiments, we demonstrate that a homozygous missense substitution (N264K) in the membrane-addressing domain of this ApoL1 variant knocks down the trypanolytic activity, allowing the trypanosome to avoid ApoL1-mediated immunity. IMPORTANCE:Most African trypanosomes are lysed by the ApoL1 protein in human serum. Only the subspecies Trypanosoma b. gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense can resist lysis by ApoL1 because they express specific serum resistance proteins. We here report a complex interplay between trypanosomes and an ApoL1 variant characterized by a homozygous missense substitution (N264K) in the domain that we hypothesize interacts with the endolysosomal membranes of trypanosomes. The N264K substitution knocks down the lytic activity of ApoL1 against T. b. gambiense strains lacking the TgsGP defense mechanism and against T. b. rhodesiense if N264K is accompanied by additional substitutions in the SRA-interacting domain. Our data suggest that populations with high frequencies of the homozygous N264K ApoL1 variant may be at increased risk of contracting human African trypanosomiasis.
Project description:Two coding variants in the apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) gene (termed G1 and G2) are strongly associated with increased risk of nondiabetic kidney disease in people of recent African ancestry. The mechanisms by which the risk variants cause kidney damage, although not well-understood, are believed to involve injury to glomerular podocytes. The intracellular localization and function of APOL1 in podocytes remain unclear, with recent studies suggesting possible roles in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), mitochondria, endosomes, lysosomes, and autophagosomes. Here, we demonstrate that APOL1 also localizes to intracellular lipid droplets (LDs). While a large fraction of risk variant APOL1 (G1 and G2) localizes to the ER, a significant proportion of wild-type APOL1 (G0) localizes to LDs. APOL1 transiently interacts with numerous organelles, including the ER, mitochondria, and endosomes. Treatment of cells that promote LD formation with oleic acid shifted the localization of G1 and G2 from the ER to LDs, with accompanying reduction of autophagic flux and cytotoxicity. Coexpression of G0 APOL1 with risk variant APOL1 enabled recruitment of G1 and G2 from the ER to LDs, accompanied by reduced cell death. The ability of G0 APOL1 to recruit risk variant APOL1 to LDs may help explain the recessive pattern of kidney disease inheritance. These studies establish APOL1 as a bona fide LD-associated protein, and reveal that recruitment of risk variant APOL1 to LDs reduces cell toxicity, autophagic flux, and cell death. Thus, interventions that divert APOL1 risk variants to LDs may serve as a novel therapeutic strategy to alleviate their cytotoxic effects.