Recruitment of APOL1 kidney disease risk variants to lipid droplets attenuates cell toxicity.
ABSTRACT: 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.
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:Kidney failure occurs in 5-13% of individuals with sickle cell disease and is associated with early mortality. Two APOL1 alleles (G1 and G2) have been identified as risk factors for sickle cell disease nephropathy. Both risk alleles are prevalent in individuals with recent African ancestry and have been associated with nephropathic complications in other diseases. Despite the association of G1 and G2 with kidney dysfunction, the mechanisms by which these variants contribute to increased risk remain poorly understood. Previous work in zebrafish models suggest that the G2 risk allele functions as a dominant negative, whereas the G1 allele is a functional null. To understand better the cellular pathology attributed to APOL1 G2, we investigated the in vivo effects of the G2 risk variant on distinct cell types using RNA sequencing. We surveyed APOL1 G2 associated transcriptomic alterations in podocytes and vascular endothelial cells isolated from zebrafish larvae expressing cell-type specific reporters. Our analysis identified many transcripts (n = 7,523) showing differential expression between APOL1 G0 (human wild-type) and APOL1 G2 exposed podocytes. Conversely, relatively few transcripts (n = 107) were differentially expressed when comparing APOL1 G0 and APOL1 G2 exposed endothelial cells. Pathway analysis of differentially expressed transcripts in podocytes showed enrichment for autophagy associated terms such as "Lysosome" and "Phagosome", implicating these pathways in APOL1 G2 associated kidney dysfunction. This work provides insight into the molecular pathology of APOL1 G2 nephropathy which may offer new therapeutic strategies for multiple disease contexts such as sickle cell nephropathy.
Project description:Gene sequence mutations may alter mRNA transcription, transcript stability, protein translation, protein stability and protein folding. Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) has two sets of sequence variants that are risk factors for kidney disease development, APOL1G1 (substitution mutation) and APOL1G2 (deletion mutation). Our present study focuses on the impact of these variants on APOL1 mRNA transcription and translation. APOL1 plasmids (EV, G0, G1 and G2) were transfected into human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293T cells. APOL1 variant expression was observed to be significantly lower than that of APOL1G0. Podocyte cell lines stably expressing APOL1 transgenes also showed lower levels of APOL1 expression of APOL1 variants (G1 and G2) compared with APOL1G0 by Western blotting and FACS analysis. The enhanced expression of GRP78 by podocytes expressing APOL1 variants would indicate endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Bioinformatics evaluation using two different programs (MUPro and I-Mutant 2.0) predicted that APOL1 variants were less stable than APOL1G0. Concomitant with protein levels, APOL1 mRNA levels were also depressed following induction of APOL1 variant compared with APOL1G0 in both proliferating and differentiated podocytes. APOL1 mRNA transcript stability was tested after actinomycin D pulsing; APOL1G1 and APOL1G2 mRNAs transcript decayed 10-15% and 15-20% (within a period of 0.5-3 h) respectively. Our data suggest that down-regulated APOL1 protein expression in APOL1 variants is due to compromised transcription and decay of the APOL1 variant transcripts.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>APOL1 is found in human kidney podocytes and endothelia. Variants G1 and G2 of the <i>APOL1</i> gene account for the high frequency of nondiabetic CKD among African Americans. Proposed mechanisms of kidney podocyte cytotoxicity resulting from <i>APOL1</i> variant overexpression implicate different subcellular compartments. It is unclear where endogenous podocyte APOL1 resides, because previous immunolocalization studies utilized overexpressed protein or commercially available antibodies that crossreact with APOL2. This study describes and distinguishes the locations of both APOLs.<h4>Methods</h4>Immunohistochemistry, confocal and immunoelectron microscopy, and podocyte fractionation localized endogenous and transfected APOL1 using a large panel of novel APOL1-specific mouse and rabbit monoclonal antibodies.<h4>Results</h4>Both endogenous podocyte and transfected APOL1 isoforms vA and vB1 (and a little of isoform vC) localize to the luminal face of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and to the cell surface, but not to mitochondria, endosomes, or lipid droplets. In contrast, APOL2, isoform vB3, and most vC of APOL1 localize to the cytoplasmic face of the ER and are consequently absent from the cell surface. <i>APOL1</i> knockout podocytes do not stain for APOL1, attesting to the APOL1-specificity of the antibodies. Stable re-transfection of knockout podocytes with inducible <i>APOL1-G0</i>, <i>-G1</i>, and -<i>G2</i> showed no differences in localization among variants.<h4>Conclusions</h4>APOL1 is found in the ER and plasma membrane, consistent with either the ER stress or surface cation channel models of APOL1-mediated cytotoxicity. The surface localization of APOL1 variants potentially opens new therapeutic targeting avenues.
Project description:Apolipoprotein L1 (<i>APOL1</i>) high-risk genotypes (HRG), G1 and G2, increase the risk of various non-diabetic kidney diseases in the African population. To date, the precise mechanisms by which <i>APOL1</i> risk variants induce injury on podocytes and other kidney cells remain unclear. Trying to unravel these mechanisms, most studies have used animal or cell models created by gene editing. We developed and characterised conditionally immortalised human podocyte cell lines derived from urine of a donor carrying <i>APOL1</i> HRG G2/G2. Following induction of APOL1 expression by polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)), we assessed functional features of APOL1-induced podocyte dysfunction. As control, APOL1 wild type (G0/G0) podocyte cell line previously generated from a Caucasian donor was used. Upon exposure to poly(I:C), G2/G2 and G0/G0 podocytes upregulated APOL1 expression resulting in podocytes detachment, decreased cells viability and increased apoptosis rate in a genotype-independent manner. Nevertheless, G2/G2 podocyte cell lines exhibited altered features, including upregulation of CD2AP, alteration of cytoskeleton, reduction of autophagic flux and increased permeability in an in vitro model under continuous perfusion. The human APOL1 G2/G2 podocyte cell model is a useful tool for unravelling the mechanisms of APOL1-induced podocyte injury and the cellular functions of APOL1.
Project description:We hypothesized that a functional apolipoprotein LI (APOL1)-miR193a axis (inverse relationship) preserves, but disruption alters, the podocyte molecular phenotype through the modulation of autophagy flux. Podocyte-expressing APOL1G0 (G0-podocytes) showed downregulation but podocyte-expressing APOL1G1 (G1-podocytes) and APOL1G2 (G2-podocytes) displayed enhanced miR193a expression. G0-, G1-, and G2-podocytes showed enhanced expression of light chain (LC) 3-II and beclin-1, but a disparate expression of p62 (low in wild-type but high in risk alleles). G0-podocytes showed enhanced, whereas G1- and G2-podocytes displayed decreased, phosphorylation of Unc-51-like autophagy-activating kinase (ULK)1 and class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3KC3). Podocytes overexpressing miR193a (miR193a-podocytes), G1, and G2 showed decreased transcription of PIK3R3 (PI3KC3's regulatory unit). Since 3-methyladenine (3-MA) enhanced miR193a expression but inhibited PIK3R3 transcription, it appears that 3-MA inhibits autophagy and induces podocyte dedifferentiation via miR193a generation. miR193a-, G1-, and G2-podocytes also showed decreased phosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) that could repress lysosome reformation. G1- and G2-podocytes showed enhanced expression of run domain beclin-1-interacting and cysteine-rich domain-containing protein (Rubicon); however, its silencing prevented their dedifferentiation. Docking, protein-protein interaction, and immunoprecipitation studies with antiautophagy-related gene (ATG)14L, anti-UV radiation resistance-associated gene (UVRAG), or Rubicon antibodies suggested the formation of ATG14L complex I and UVRAG complex II in G0-podocytes and the formation of Rubicon complex III in G1- and G2-podocytes. These findings suggest that the APOL1 risk alleles favor podocyte dedifferentiation through blockade of multiple autophagy pathways.
Project description:Development of higher rates of nondiabetic glomerulosclerosis (GS) in African Americans has been attributed to two coding sequence variants (G1 and G2) in the APOL1 gene. To date, the cellular function and the role of APOL1 variants (Vs) in GS are still unknown. In this study, we examined the effects of overexpressing wild-type (G0) and kidney disease risk variants (G1 and G2) of APOL1 in human podocytes using a lentivirus expression system. Interestingly, G0 inflicted podocyte injury only at a higher concentration; however, G1 and G2 promoted moderate podocyte injury at lower and higher concentrations. APOL1Vs expressing podocytes displayed diffuse distribution of both Lucifer yellow dye and cathepsin L as manifestations of enhanced lysosomal membrane permeability (LMP). Chloroquine attenuated the APOL1Vs-induced increase in podocyte injury, consistent with targeting lysosomes. The chloride channel blocker DIDS prevented APOL1Vs- induced injury, indicating a role for chloride influx in osmotic swelling of lysosomes. Direct exposure of noninfected podocytes with conditioned media from G1- and G2-expressing podocytes also induced injury, suggesting a contributory role of the secreted component of G1 and G2 as well. Adverse host factors (AHFs) such as hydrogen peroxide, hypoxia, TNF-?, and puromycin aminonucleoside augmented APOL1- and APOL1Vs-induced podocyte injury, while the effect of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) on podocyte injury was overwhelming under conditions of APOLVs expression. We conclude that G0 and G1 and G2 APOL1 variants have the potential to induce podocyte injury in a manner which is further augmented by AHFs, with HIV infection being especially prominent.
Project description:Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) wild type (G0) plays a role in the metabolism of sphingolipids, glycosphingolipids, sphingomyelin and ceramide, which constitute bioactive components of the lipid rafts (DRM). We asked whether APOL1 variants (APOL1-Vs) G1 and G2 carry the potential to alter the metabolism of sphingolipids in human podocytes. The sphingolipid pattern in HPs overexpressing either APOL1G0 or APOL1-Vs was analysed by using a thin mono- and bi-dimensional layer chromatography, mass-spectrometry and metabolic labelling with [1-3H]sphingosine. HP G0 and G1/G2-Vs exhibit a comparable decrease in lactosylceramide and an increase in the globotriaosylceramide content. An analysis of the main glycohydrolases activity involved in glycosphingolipid catabolism showed an overall decrease in the activeness of the tested enzymes, irrespective of the type of APOL1-Vs expression. Similarly, the high throughput cell live-based assay showed a comparable increased action of the plasma membrane glycosphingolipid-glycohydrolases in living cells independent of the genetic APOL1 expression profile. Importantly, the most significative modification of the sphingolipid pattern induced by APOL1-Vs occurred in DRM resulted with a drastic reduction of radioactivity associated with sphingolipids. G1/G2-Vs present a decrease amount of globotriaosylceramide and globopentaosylceramide compared to G0. Additionally, ceramide at the DRM site and lactosylceramide in general, showed a greatest fall in G1/G2 in comparison with G0. Additionally, the levels of glucosylceramide decreased only in the DRM of human podocytes overexpressing G1/G2-Vs. These findings suggest that altered sphingolipidsprofiles may contribute to the deranged functionality of the plasma membrane in APOL1 risk milieu.
Project description:Lipotoxicity was recently reported in several forms of kidney disease, including focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Susceptibility to FSGS in African Americans is associated with the presence of genetic variants of the Apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1) named G1 and G2. If and how endogenous APOL1 may alter mitochondrial function by the modifying cellular lipid metabolism is unknown. Using transgenic mice expressing the APOL1 variants (G0, G1 or G2) under endogenous promoter, we show that APOL1 risk variant expression in transgenic mice does not impair kidney function at baseline. However, APOL1 G1 expression worsens proteinuria and kidney function in mice characterized by the podocyte inducible expression of nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT), which we have found to cause FSGS. APOL1 G1 expression in this FSGS-model also results in increased triglyceride and cholesterol ester contents in kidney cortices, where lipid accumulation correlated with loss of renal function. In vitro, we show that the expression of endogenous APOL1 G1/G2 in human urinary podocytes is associated with increased cellular triglyceride content and is accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction in the presence of compensatory oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes elevation. Our findings indicate that APOL1 risk variant expression increases the susceptibility to lipid-dependent podocyte injury, ultimately leading to mitochondrial dysfunction.
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.