CaMK4 compromises podocyte function in autoimmune and nonautoimmune kidney disease.
ABSTRACT: Podocyte malfunction occurs in autoimmune and nonautoimmune kidney disease. Calcium signaling is essential for podocyte injury, but the role of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase (CaMK) signaling in podocytes has not been fully explored. We report that podocytes from patients with lupus nephritis and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and lupus-prone and lipopolysaccharide- or adriamycin-treated mice display increased expression of CaMK IV (CaMK4), but not CaMK2. Mechanistically, CaMK4 modulated podocyte motility by altering the expression of the GTPases Rac1 and RhoA and suppressed the expression of nephrin, synaptopodin, and actin fibers in podocytes. In addition, it phosphorylated the scaffold protein 14-3-3?, which resulted in the release and degradation of synaptopodin. Targeted delivery of a CaMK4 inhibitor to podocytes preserved their ultrastructure, averted immune complex deposition and crescent formation, and suppressed proteinuria in lupus-prone mice and proteinuria in mice exposed to lipopolysaccharide-induced podocyte injury by preserving nephrin/synaptopodin expression. In animals exposed to adriamycin, podocyte-specific delivery of a CaMK4 inhibitor prevented and reversed podocyte injury and renal disease. We conclude that CaMK4 is pivotal in immune and nonimmune podocyte injury and that its targeted cell-specific inhibition preserves podocyte structure and function and should have therapeutic value in lupus nephritis and podocytopathies, including focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.
Project description:Podocytes are highly specialized cells that line the glomerulus of the kidney and play a role in filtration. Podocyte injury plays a critical role in the development of many kidney diseases, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we identified that neurofilament heavy polypeptide (NEFH), an intermediate filament component, protects podocyte from injury. We observed that NEFH was upregulated after ADRIAMYCIN(ADR)-induced podocyte injury in both mice and cultured murine podocytes. Immunofluorescence and co-immunoprecipitation analyses revealed that NEFH was colocalized with synaptopodin, a podocyte-specific marker. High NEFH expression in podocytes prevented the Adriamycin-induced reduction in synaptopodin expression. The siRNA-mediated knockdown of NEFH in podocytes reduced the number of vinculin-containing focal contacts, thereby reducing adhesion to the extracellular matrix and increasing podocyte detachment. In addition, NEFH expression was significantly increased in renal biopsy specimens from patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and membranous nephropathy, but in those with minimal change disease. These findings indicate that NEFH is expressed in podocytes during the disease course and that it prevents the reduction in synaptopodin expression and detachment of podocytes.
Project description:Podocyte dysfunction, one of the major causes of proteinuria, leads to glomerulosclerosis and end stage renal disease, but its underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. Here we show that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling plays a critical role in podocyte injury and proteinuria. Treatment with adriamycin induced Wnt and activated beta-catenin in mouse podocytes. Overexpression of Wnt1 in vivo activated glomerular beta-catenin and aggravated albuminuria and adriamycin-induced suppression of nephrin expression, whereas blockade of Wnt signaling with Dickkopf-1 ameliorated podocyte lesions. Podocyte-specific knockout of beta-catenin protected against development of albuminuria after injury. Moreover, pharmacologic activation of beta-catenin induced albuminuria in wild-type mice but not in beta-catenin-knockout littermates. In human proteinuric kidney diseases such as diabetic nephropathy and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, we observed upregulation of Wnt1 and active beta-catenin in podocytes. Ectopic expression of either Wnt1 or stabilized beta-catenin in vitro induced the transcription factor Snail and suppressed nephrin expression, leading to podocyte dysfunction. These results suggest that targeting hyperactive Wnt/beta-catenin signaling may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for proteinuric kidney diseases.
Project description:Multiple transforming growth factor (TGF)-?-induced fibrogenic signals have been described in vitro. To evaluate mechanisms in vivo, we used an adriamycin nephropathy model in 129x1/Svj mice that display massive proteinuria by days 5 to 7 and pathological findings similar to human focal segmental glomerulosclerosis by day 14. TGF-? mRNA expression increased after day 7 along with nuclear translocation of the TGF-? receptor-specific transcription factor Smad3. Inhibiting TGF-? prevented both pathological changes and type-I collagen and fibronectin mRNA expression, but proteinuria persisted. Renal Akt was phosphorylated in adriamycin-treated mice, suggesting PI3-kinase activation. Expression of mRNA for the p110? isozyme of PI3-kinase was specifically increased and p110? colocalized with nephrin by immunohistochemistry early in disease. Nephrin levels subsequently decreased. Inhibition of p110? by AS605240 preserved nephrin expression and prevented proteinuria. In cultured podocytes, adriamycin stimulated p110? expression. AS605240, but not a TGF-? receptor kinase inhibitor, prevented adriamycin-induced cytoskeletal disorganization and apoptosis, supporting a role for p110? in podocyte injury. AS605240, at a dose that decreased proteinuria, prevented renal collagen mRNA expression in vivo but did not affect TGF-?-stimulated collagen induction in vitro. Thus, PI3-kinase p110? mediates initial podocyte injury and proteinuria, both of which precede TGF-?-mediated glomerular scarring.
Project description:We transformed mouse podocytes by ectopic expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4). Compared with podocytes transformed with a thermo-sensitive SV40 large T antigen mutant tsA58U19 (tsT podocytes), podocytes transformed with CDK4 (CDK4 podocytes) exhibited significantly higher expression of nephrin mRNA. Synaptopodin mRNA expression was significantly lower in CDK4 podocytes and in tsT podocytes under growth-permissive conditions (33°C) compared with tsT podocytes under growth-restricted conditions (37°C), which suggests a role for cell cycle arrest in synaptopodin mRNA expression. Confluent CDK4 podocytes showed significantly higher mRNA expression levels for nephrin, synaptopodin, Wilms tumor 1, podocalyxin, and P-cadherin compared with subconfluent cultures. We carried out experiments to clarify roles of various factors in the confluent podocyte cultures; our findings indicate that cell-cell contact promotes expression of five podocyte marker genes studied, that cellular quiescence increases synaptopodin and podocalyxin mRNA expression, and that soluble factors play a role in nephrin mRNA expression. Our findings suggest that CDK4 podocytes are useful tools to study podocyte biology. Furthermore, the role of cell-cell contact in podocyte gene expression may have relevance for podocyte function in vivo.
Project description:Podocyte injury has been suggested to induce phenotypic alteration of glomerular podocytes and accelerate the detachment of podocytes from the glomeruli resulting in podocyturia. However, it is not clear whether podocyte phenotypic alteration occurs in the urine of women with preeclampsia (PE). Seventy-seven and 116 pelleted urine samples from 38 and 18 women at various stages of normal and PE pregnancies, respectively underwent quantitative analysis of podocyte-specific or associated protein mRNA expression, including podocin, nephrin, and synaptopodin using RT-PCR. Significant proteinuria in pregnancy (SPIP) is defined as protein:creatinine ratio (P/Cr, mg/mg) ≥ 0.27 in the urine supernatant. All three urine-pellet mRNAs expression levels were significantly positively correlated with P/Cr levels, suggesting that podocyturia increased with proteinuria. The podocin:nephrin mRNA ratio (PNR) and synaptopodin:nephrin mRNA ratio (SNR) increased significantly with increasing P/Cr, while the podocin:synaptopodin mRNA ratio (PSR) did not change significantly according to P/Cr, resulting in significantly higher PNR and SNR, but not PSR levels, in urine from PE women with than without SPIP. The PNR, SNR, and PSR in urine from PE women before onset of SPIP were comparable to those from controls. Thus, nephrin mRNA expression was reduced in the podocytes recovered from PE women.
Project description:Podocyte injury is the main cause of proteinuria in lupus nephritis (LN). Nestin, an important cytoskeleton protein, is expressed stably in podocytes and is associated with podocyte injury. However, the role of nestin in the pathogenesis of proteinuria in LN remains unclear. The correlations among nestin, nephrin and proteinuria were analyzed in LN patients and MRL/lpr lupus-prone mice. The expression of nestin in mouse podocyte lines (MPCs) and MRL/lpr mice was knocked down to determine the role of nestin in podocyte injury. Inhibitors and RNAi method were used to explore the role of mitophagy and oxidative stress in nestin protection of podocyte from damage. There was a significantly negative correlation between nestin and proteinuria both in LN patients and MRL/lpr mice, whereas the expression of nephrin was positively correlated with nestin. Knockdown of nestin resulted in not only the decrease of nephrin, p-nephrin (Y1217) and mitophagy-associated proteins in cultured podocytes and the podocytes of MRL/lpr mice, but also mitochondrial dysfunction in podocytes stimulated with LN plasma. The expression and phosphorylation of nephrin was significantly decreased by reducing the level of mitophagy or production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cultured podocytes. Our findings suggested that nestin regulated the expression of nephrin through mitophagy and oxidative stress to protect the podocytes from injury in LN.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) is a serine protease that inhibits the degradation of glucagon-like peptide 1. DPP-4 inhibitors are used worldwide to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus and were recently shown to have pleiotropic effects such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fibrotic actions. DPP-4 inhibitors improve albuminuria and renal injury including glomerular damage independent of its hypoglycemic effect. Although DPP-4 is mainly expressed in the kidney, the physiological function of DPP-4 remains unclear. METHODS:The localization of renal DPP-4 activity was determined in human renal biopsy specimens with glycyl-1-prolyl-4-methoxy-2-naphthylamide and the effects of a DPP-4 inhibitor were examined in human cultured podocyte. RESULTS:DPP-4 activity under normal conditions was observed in some Bowman's capsular epithelial cells and proximal tubules, but not in the glomerulus. DPP-4 activity was observed in crescent formation in anti-neutrophil myeloperoxidase cytoplasmic antigen antibody nephritis, nodular lesions in diabetic nephropathy, and some podocytes in focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. Notably, the DPP-4 inhibitor saxagliptin suppressed DPP-4 activity in podocytes and the proximal tubules. To assess the effect of DPP-4 inhibitor on podocytes, human cultured podocytes were injured by Adriamycin, which increased DPP-4 activity; this activity was dose-dependently suppressed by saxagliptin. Treatment with saxagliptin maintained the structure of synaptopodin and RhoA. Saxagliptin also improved the detachment of podocytes. CONCLUSIONS:DPP-4 activity induces degradation of synaptopodin and reduction of RhoA, resulting in destruction of the podocyte cytoskeleton. Saxagliptin may have pleiotropic effects to prevent podocyte injury.
Project description:AIMS:Oxidative stress plays a role in mediating podocyte injury and proteinuria. However, the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the potential role of C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4), the receptor for stromal cell-derived factor 1α (SDF-1α), in mediating oxidative stress-induced podocyte injury. RESULTS:In mouse model of adriamycin nephropathy (ADR), CXCR4 expression was significantly induced in podocytes as early as 3 days. This was accompanied by an increased upregulation of oxidative stress in podocyte, as demonstrated by malondialdehyde assay, nitrotyrosine staining and secretion of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine in urine, and induction of NOX2 and NOX4, major subunits of NADPH oxidase. CXCR4 was also induced in human kidney biopsies with proteinuric kidney diseases and colocalized with advanced oxidation protein products (AOPPs), an established oxidative stress trigger. Using cultured podocytes and mouse model, we found that AOPPs induced significant loss of podocyte marker Wilms tumor 1 (WT1), nephrin, and podocalyxin, accompanied by upregulation of desmin both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, AOPPs worsened proteinuria and aggravated glomerulosclerosis in ADR. These effects were associated with marked activation of SDF-1α/CXCR4 axis in podocytes. Administration of AMD3100, a specific inhibitor of CXCR4, reduced proteinuria and ameliorated podocyte dysfunction and renal fibrosis triggered by AOPPs in mice. In glomerular miniorgan culture, AOPPs also induced CXCR4 expression and downregulated nephrin and WT1. Innovation and Conclusion: These results suggest that chemokine receptor CXCR4 plays a crucial role in mediating oxidative stress-induced podocyte injury, proteinuria, and renal fibrosis. CXCR4 could be a new target for mitigating podocyte injury, proteinuria, and glomerular sclerosis in proteinuric chronic kidney disease. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 27, 345-362.
Project description:Podocyte injury resulting from a loss of differentiation is the hallmark of many glomerular diseases. We previously showed that retinoic acid (RA) induces podocyte differentiation via stimulation of the cAMP pathway. However, many podocyte maturity markers lack binding sites for RA-response element or cAMP-response element (CREB) in their promoter regions. We hypothesized that transcription factors induced by RA and downstream of CREB mediate podocyte differentiation. We performed microarray gene expression studies in human podocytes treated with and without RA to identify differentially regulated genes. In comparison with known CREB target genes, we identified Krüppel-like factor 15 (KLF15), a kidney-enriched nuclear transcription factor, that has been previously shown to mediate cell differentiation. We confirmed that RA increased KLF15 expression in both murine and human podocytes. Overexpression of KLF15 stimulated expression of differentiation markers in both wild-type and HIV-1-infected podocytes. Also, KLF15 binding to the promoter regions of nephrin and podocin was increased in RA-treated podocytes. Although KLF15(-/-) mice at base line had minimal phenotype, lipopolysaccharide- or adriamycin-treated KLF15(-/-) mice had a significant increase in proteinuria and podocyte foot process effacement with a reduction in the expression of podocyte differentiation markers as compared with the wild-type treated mice. Finally, KLF15 expression was reduced in glomeruli isolated from HIV transgenic mice as well as in kidney biopsies from patients with HIV-associated nephropathy and idiopathic focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. These results indicate a critical role of KLF15 in mediating podocyte differentiation and in protecting podocytes against injury.
Project description:Podocytes are specialized cells with a limited capacity for cell division that do not regenerate in response to injury and loss. Insults that compromise the integrity of podocytes promote proteinuria and progressive renal disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential renoprotective and regenerative effects of mesenchymal stromal cells (mSC) in a severe form of the podocyte injury model induced by intraperitoneal administration of puromycin, aggravated by unilateral nephrectomy. Bone derived mSC were isolated and characterized according to flow cytometry analyses and to their capacity to differentiate into mesenchymal lineages. Wistar rats were divided into three groups: Control, PAN, and PAN+ mSC, consisting of PAN rats treated with 2?×?10<sup>5</sup> mSC. PAN rats developed heavy proteinuria, hypertension, glomerulosclerosis and significant effacement of the foot process. After 60 days, PAN rats treated with mSC presented a significant amelioration of all these abnormalities. In addition, mSC treatment recovered WT1 expression, improved nephrin, podocin, synaptopodin, podocalyxin, and VEGF expression, and downregulated proinflammatory Th1 cytokines in the kidney with a shift towards regulatory Th2 cytokines. In conclusion, mSC administration induced protection of podocytes in this experimental PAN model, providing new perspectives for the treatment of renal diseases associated with podocyte damage.