Lkb1 deficiency confers glutamine dependency in polycystic kidney disease.
ABSTRACT: Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a common genetic disorder characterized by the growth of fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys. Several studies reported that the serine-threonine kinase Lkb1 is dysregulated in PKD. Here we show that genetic ablation of Lkb1 in the embryonic ureteric bud has no effects on tubule formation, maintenance, or growth. However, co-ablation of Lkb1 and Tsc1, an mTOR repressor, results in an early developing, aggressive form of PKD. We find that both loss of Lkb1 and loss of Pkd1 render cells dependent on glutamine for growth. Metabolomics analysis suggests that Lkb1 mutant kidneys require glutamine for non-essential amino acid and glutathione metabolism. Inhibition of glutamine metabolism in both Lkb1/Tsc1 and Pkd1 mutant mice significantly reduces cyst progression. Thus, we identify a role for Lkb1 in glutamine metabolism within the kidney epithelia and suggest that drugs targeting glutamine metabolism may help reduce cyst number and/or size in PKD.
Project description:Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) in humans involves kidney cyst expansion beginning in utero. Recessive PKD can result in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) within the first decade, whereas autosomal dominant PKD (ADPKD), caused by mutations in the PKD1 or PKD2 gene, typically leads to ESRD by the fifth decade of life. Inhibition of mTOR signalling was recently found to halt cyst formation in adult ADPKD mice. In contrast, no studies have investigated potential treatments to prevent cyst formation in utero in recessive PKD. Given that homozygous Pkd1 mutant mice exhibit cyst formation in utero, we decided to investigate whether mTOR inhibition in utero ameliorates kidney cyst formation in foetal Pkd1 homozygous mutant mice.Pregnant Pkd1(+/-) female mice (mated with Pkd1(+/-) male mice) were treated with rapamycin from E14.5 to E17.5. Foetal kidneys were dissected, genotyped and evaluated by cyst size as well as expression of the developmental marker, Pax2.Numerous cysts were present in Pkd1(-/-) kidneys, which were twice the weight of wild-type kidneys. Cyst size was reduced by a third in rapamycin-treated Pkd1(-/-) kidney sections and kidney mass was reduced to near wild-type levels. However, total cyst number was not reduced compared with control embryos. Pax2 expression and kidney development were unaltered in rapamycin-treated mice but some lethality was observed in Pkd1(-/-) null embryos.Rapamycin treatment reduces cyst formation in Pkd1(-/-) mutant mice; therefore, the prevention of kidney cyst expansion in utero by mTOR inhibition is feasible. However, selective rapamycin-associated lethality limits its usefulness as a treatment in utero.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the leading inherited renal disease worldwide. The proproliferative function of macrophages is associated with late-stage cyst enlargement in mice with PKD; however, the way in which macrophages act on cyst-lining epithelial cells (CLECs) has not been well elucidated.<h4>Methods</h4>We generated a rapid-onset PKD mouse model by inactivating <i>Pkd1</i> on postnatal day 10 (P10) and compared cell proliferation and differential gene expression in kidney tissues of the PKD mice and wild-type (WT) littermates.<h4>Results</h4>The cystic phenotype was dominant from P18. A distinct peak in cell proliferation in polycystic kidneys during P22-P30 was closely related to late-stage cyst growth. Comparisons of gene expression profiles in kidney tissues at P22 and P30 in PKD and WT mice revealed that arginine metabolism was significantly activated; 204 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including <i>Arg1</i>, an arginine metabolism-associated gene, were identified in late-stage polycystic kidneys. The <i>Arg1</i>-encoded protein, arginase-1 (ARG1), was predominantly expressed in macrophages in a time-dependent manner. Multiple-stage macrophage depletion verified that macrophages expressing high ARG1 levels accounted for late-stage cyst enlargement, and inhibiting ARG1 activity significantly retarded cyst growth and effectively lowered the proliferative indices in polycystic kidneys. <i>In vitro</i> experiments revealed that macrophages stimulated CLEC proliferation, and that L-lactic acid, primarily generated by CLECs, significantly upregulated ARG1 expression and increased polyamine synthesis in macrophages.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Interactions between macrophages and CLECs promote cyst growth. ARG1 is a key molecule involved in this process and is a potential therapeutic target to help delay ADPKD progression.
Project description:Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a commonly inherited disorder mostly caused by mutations in PKD1, encoding polycystin-1 (PC1). The disease is characterized by development and growth of epithelium-lined cyst in both kidneys, often leading to renal failure. There is no specific treatment for this disease. Here, we report a sustained activation of the transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in ischemic injured and uninjured Pkd1 knockout polycystic kidneys and in human ADPKD kidneys. Through a chemical library screen, we identified the anti-parasitic compound pyrimethamine as an inhibitor of STAT3 function. Treatment with pyrimethamine decreases cell proliferation in human ADPKD cells and blocks renal cyst formation in an adult and a neonatal PKD mouse model. Moreover, we demonstrated that a specific STAT3 inhibitor, S3I-201, reduces cyst formation and growth in a neonatal PKD mouse model. Our results suggest that PC1 acts as a negative regulator of STAT3 and that blocking STAT3 signaling with pyrimethamine or similar drugs may be an attractive therapy for human ADPKD.
Project description:Previous studies report a cross-talk between the polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) genes. mTOR signalling is upregulated in PKD and rapamycin slows cyst expansion, whereas renal inactivation of the Tsc genes causes cysts. Here we identify a new interplay between the PKD and TSC genes, with important implications for the pathophysiology of both diseases. Kidney-specific inactivation of either Pkd1 or Tsc1 using an identical Cre (KspCre) results in aggressive or very mild PKD, respectively. Unexpectedly, we find that mTORC1 negatively regulates the biogenesis of polycystin-1 (PC-1) and trafficking of the PC-1/2 complex to cilia. Genetic interaction studies reveal an important role for PC-1 downregulation by mTORC1 in the cystogenesis of Tsc1 mutants. Our data potentially explain the severe renal manifestations of the TSC/PKD contiguous gene syndrome and open new perspectives for the use of mTOR inhibitors in autosomal dominant PKD caused by hypomorphic or missense PKD1 mutations.
Project description:Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is driven by mutations in PKD1 and PKD2 genes. Recent work suggests that epigenetic modulation of gene expression and protein function may play a role in ADPKD pathogenesis. In this study, we identified SMYD2, a SET and MYND domain protein with lysine methyltransferase activity, as a regulator of renal cyst growth. SMYD2 was upregulated in renal epithelial cells and tissues from Pkd1-knockout mice as well as in ADPKD patients. SMYD2 deficiency delayed renal cyst growth in postnatal kidneys from Pkd1 mutant mice. Pkd1 and Smyd2 double-knockout mice lived longer than Pkd1-knockout mice. Targeting SMYD2 with its specific inhibitor, AZ505, delayed cyst growth in both early- and later-stage Pkd1 conditional knockout mouse models. SMYD2 carried out its function via methylation and activation of STAT3 and the p65 subunit of NF-?B, leading to increased cystic renal epithelial cell proliferation and survival. We further identified two positive feedback loops that integrate epigenetic regulation and renal inflammation in cyst development: SMYD2/IL-6/STAT3/SMYD2 and SMYD2/TNF-?/NF-?B/SMYD2. These pathways provide mechanisms by which SMYD2 might be induced by cyst fluid IL-6 and TNF-? in ADPKD kidneys. The SMYD2 transcriptional target gene Ptpn13 also linked SMYD2 to other PKD-associated signaling pathways, including ERK, mTOR, and Akt signaling, via PTPN13-mediated phosphorylation.
Project description:Polycystic kidney diseases (PKD) are inherited disorders characterized by fluid-filled cysts primarily in the kidneys. We previously reported differences between the expression of Cux1, p21, and p27 in the cpk and Pkd1 null mouse models of PKD. Embryonic lethality of Pkd1 null mice limits its study to early stages of kidney development. Therefore, we examined mice with a collecting duct specific deletion in the Pkd1 gene. Cux1 was ectopically expressed in the cyst lining epithelial cells of newborn, P7 and P15 Pkd1(CD) mice. Cux1 expression correlated with cell proliferation in early stages of cystogenesis, however, as the disease progressed, fewer cyst lining cells showed increased cell proliferation. Rather, Cux1 expression in late stage cystogenesis was associated with increased apoptosis. Taken together, our results suggest that increased Cux1 expression associated with apoptosis is a common feature of late stage cyst progression in both the cpk and Pkd1(CD) mouse models of PKD.
Project description:Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder characterized by aberrant renal epithelial cell proliferation and formation and progressive growth of numerous fluid-filled cysts within the kidneys. Previously, we showed that there is elevated Notch signaling compared to normal renal epithelial cells and that Notch signaling contributes to the proliferation of cystic cells. Quinomycin A, a bis-intercalator peptide, has previously been shown to target the Notch signaling pathway and inhibit tumor growth in cancer. Here, we show that Quinomycin A decreased cell proliferation and cyst growth of human ADPKD cyst epithelial cells cultured within a 3D collagen gel. Treatment with Quinomycin A reduced kidney weight to body weight ratio and decreased renal cystic area and fibrosis in Pkd1<sup>RC/RC</sup> ; Pkd2<sup>+/-</sup> mice, an orthologous PKD mouse model. This was accompanied by reduced expression of Notch pathway proteins, RBPjk and HeyL and cell proliferation in kidneys of PKD mice. Quinomycin A treatments also normalized cilia length of cyst epithelial cells derived from the collecting ducts. This is the first study to demonstrate that Quinomycin A effectively inhibits PKD progression and suggests that Quinomycin A has potential therapeutic value for PKD patients.
Project description:Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is caused by germline mutations of PKD1 or PKD2 on one allele and a somatic mutation inactivating the remaining normal allele. However, if and how null ADPKD gene renal epithelial cells affect the biology and function of neighboring cells, including heterozygous renal epithelial cells, fibroblasts and macrophages during cyst initiation and expansion remains unknown. Here we address this question with a "cystic extracellular vesicles/exosomes theory". We show that cystic cell derived extracellular vesicles and urinary exosomes derived from ADPKD patients promote cyst growth in Pkd1 mutant kidneys and in 3D cultures. This is achieved by: 1) downregulation of Pkd1 gene expression and upregulation of specific miRNAs, resulting in the activation of PKD associated signaling pathways in recipient renal epithelial cells and tissues; 2) the activation of fibroblasts; and 3) the induction of cytokine expression and the recruitment of macrophages to increase renal inflammation in cystic kidneys. Inhibition of exosome biogenesis/release with GW4869 significantly delays cyst growth in aggressive and milder ADPKD mouse models, suggesting that targeting exosome secretion has therapeutic potential for ADPKD.
Project description:Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a common genetic disorder characterized by bilateral renal cyst formation. Recent identification of signaling cascades deregulated in ADPKD has led to the initiation of several clinical trials, but an approved therapy is still lacking. Using a metabolomic approach, we identify a pathogenic pathway in this disease that can be safely targeted for therapy. We show that mutation of PKD1 results in enhanced glycolysis in cells in a mouse model of PKD and in kidneys from humans with ADPKD. Glucose deprivation resulted in lower proliferation and higher apoptotic rates in PKD1-mutant cells than in nondeprived cells. Notably, two distinct PKD mouse models treated with 2-deoxyglucose (2DG), to inhibit glycolysis, had lower kidney weight, volume, cystic index and proliferation rates as compared to nontreated mice. These metabolic alterations depend on the extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) pathway acting in a dual manner by inhibiting the liver kinase B1 (LKB1)-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) axis on the one hand while activating the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1)-glycolytic cascade on the other. Enhanced metabolic rates further inhibit AMPK. Forced activation of AMPK acts in a negative feedback loop, restoring normal ERK activity. Taken together, these data indicate that defective glucose metabolism is intimately involved in the pathobiology of ADPKD. Our findings provide a strong rationale for a new therapeutic strategy using existing drugs, either individually or in combination.
Project description:Cyclic AMP promotes cyst growth in polycystic kidney disease (PKD) by stimulating cell proliferation and fluid secretion. Previously, we showed that the primary cilium of renal epithelial cells contains a cAMP regulatory complex comprising adenylyl cyclases 5 and 6 (AC5/6), polycystin-2, A-kinase anchoring protein 150, protein kinase A, and phosphodiesterase 4C. In Kif3a mutant cells that lack primary cilia, the formation of this regulatory complex is disrupted and cAMP levels are increased. Inhibition of AC5 reduces cAMP levels in Kif3a mutant cells, suggesting that AC5 may mediate the increase in cAMP in PKD. Here, we examined the role of AC5 in an orthologous mouse model of PKD caused by kidney-specific ablation of Pkd2. Knockdown of AC5 with siRNA attenuated the increase in cAMP levels in Pkd2-deficient renal epithelial cells. Levels of cAMP and AC5 mRNA transcripts were elevated in the kidneys of mice with collecting duct-specific ablation of Pkd2. Compared with Pkd2 single mutant mice, AC5/Pkd2 double mutant mice had less kidney enlargement, lower cyst index, reduced kidney injury, and improved kidney function. Importantly, cAMP levels and cAMP-dependent signaling were reduced in the kidneys of AC5/Pkd2 double mutant compared to the kidneys of Pkd2 single mutant mice. Additionally, we localized endogenous AC5 in the primary cilium of renal epithelial cells and showed that ablation of AC5 reduced ciliary elongation in the kidneys of Pkd2 mutant mice. Thus, AC5 contributes importantly to increased renal cAMP levels and cyst growth in Pkd2 mutant mice, and inhibition of AC5 may be beneficial in the treatment of PKD.