UPAR isoform 2 forms a dimer and induces severe kidney disease in mice.
ABSTRACT: Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is an immune-derived circulating signaling molecule that has been implicated in chronic kidney disease, such as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Typically, native uPAR (isoform 1) translates to a 3-domain protein capable of binding and activating integrins, yet the function of additional isoforms generated by alternative splicing is unknown. Here, we characterized mouse uPAR isoform 2 (msuPAR2), encoding domain I and nearly one-half of domain II, as a dimer in solution, as revealed by 3D electron microscopy structural analysis. In vivo, msuPAR2 transgenic mice exhibited signs of severe renal disease characteristic of FSGS with proteinuria, loss of kidney function, and glomerulosclerosis. Sequencing of the glomerular RNAs from msuPAR2-Tg mice revealed a differentially expressed gene signature that includes upregulation of the suPAR receptor Itgb3, encoding ?3 integrin. Crossing msuPAR2-transgenic mice with 3 different integrin ?3 deficiency models rescued msuPAR2-mediated kidney function. Further analyses indicated a central role for ?3 integrin and c-Src in msuPAR2 signaling and in human FSGS kidney biopsies. Administration of Src inhibitors reduced proteinuria in msuPAR2-transgenic mice. In conclusion, msuPAR2 may play an important role in certain forms of scarring kidney disease.
Project description:Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a cause of proteinuric kidney disease, compromising both native and transplanted kidneys. Treatment is limited because of a complex pathogenesis, including unknown serum factors. Here we report that serum soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) is elevated in two-thirds of subjects with primary FSGS, but not in people with other glomerular diseases. We further find that a higher concentration of suPAR before transplantation underlies an increased risk for recurrence of FSGS after transplantation. Using three mouse models, we explore the effects of suPAR on kidney function and morphology. We show that circulating suPAR activates podocyte ?(3) integrin in both native and grafted kidneys, causing foot process effacement, proteinuria and FSGS-like glomerulopathy. Our findings suggest that the renal disease only develops when suPAR sufficiently activates podocyte ?(3) integrin. Thus, the disease can be abrogated by lowering serum suPAR concentrations through plasmapheresis, or by interfering with the suPAR-?(3) integrin interaction through antibodies and small molecules targeting either uPAR or ?(3) integrin. Our study identifies serum suPAR as a circulating factor that may cause FSGS.
Project description:Increased plasma level of soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) was associated recently with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). In addition, different clinical studies observed increased concentration of suPAR in various glomerular diseases and in other human pathologies with nephrotic syndromes such as HIV and Hantavirus infection, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Here, we show that suPAR induces nephrin down-modulation in human podocytes. This phenomenon is mediated only by full-length suPAR, is time-and dose-dependent and is associated with the suppression of Wilms' tumor 1 (WT-1) transcription factor expression. Moreover, an antagonist of αvβ3 integrin RGDfv blocked suPAR-induced suppression of nephrin. These in vitro data were confirmed in an in vivo uPAR knock out Plaur(-/-) mice model by demonstrating that the infusion of suPAR inhibits expression of nephrin and WT-1 in podocytes and induces proteinuria. This study unveiled that interaction of full-length suPAR with αvβ3 integrin expressed on podocytes results in down-modulation of nephrin that may affect kidney functionality in different human pathologies characterized by increased concentration of suPAR.
Project description:Excess levels of protein in urine (proteinuria) is a hallmark of kidney disease that typically occurs in conjunction with diabetes, hypertension, gene mutations, toxins or infections but may also be of unknown cause (idiopathic). Systemic soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is a circulating factor implicated in the onset and progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), such as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). The cellular source(s) of elevated suPAR associated with future and progressing kidney disease is unclear, but is likely extra-renal, as the pathological uPAR is circulating and FSGS can recur even after a damaged kidney is replaced with a healthy donor organ. Here we report that bone marrow (BM) Gr-1lo immature myeloid cells are responsible for the elevated, pathological levels of suPAR, as evidenced by BM chimera and BM ablation and cell transfer studies. A marked increase of Gr-1lo myeloid cells was commonly found in the BM of proteinuric animals having high suPAR, and these cells efficiently transmit proteinuria when transferred to healthy mice. In accordance with the results seen in suPAR-associated proteinuric animal models, in which kidney damage is caused not by local podocyte-selective injury but more likely by systemic insults, a humanized xenograft model of FSGS resulted in an expansion of Gr-1lo cells in the BM, leading to high plasma suPAR and proteinuric kidney disease. Together, these results identify suPAR as a functional connection between the BM and the kidney, and they implicate BM immature myeloid cells as a key contributor to glomerular dysfunction.
Project description:Circulating levels of soluble forms of urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) are generally elevated in sera from children and adults with FSGS compared with levels in healthy persons or those with other types of kidney disease. In mice lacking the gene encoding uPAR, forced increases in suPAR concentration result in FSGS-like glomerular lesions and proteinuria. However, whether overexpression of suPAR, per se, contributes to the pathogenesis of FSGS in humans remains controversial. We conducted an independent set of animal experiments in which two different and well characterized forms of recombinant suPAR produced by eukaryotic cells were administered over the short or long term to wild-type (WT) mice. In accordance with the previous study, the delivered suPARs are deposited in the glomeruli. However, such deposition of either form of suPAR in the kidney did not result in increased glomerular proteinuria or altered podocyte architecture. Our findings suggest that glomerular deposits of suPAR caused by elevated plasma levels are not sufficient to engender albuminuria.
Project description:The plasma soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is a biomarker for focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), but its value is under discussion because of ambiguous results arising from different ELISA methods in previous studies. The aim of this study was to compare diagnostic performance of two leading suPAR ELISA kits and examine four objectives in 146 subjects: (1) plasma suPAR levels according to glomerular disease (primary, secondary and recurrent FSGS after kidney transplantation, other glomerulonephritis) and in healthy controls; (2) suPAR levels based on glomerular filtration rate; (3) sensitivity and specificity of suPAR for FSGS diagnosis and determination of optimal cut-offs; (4) suPAR as prognostic tool. Patients with FSGS showed significant higher suPAR values than patients with other glomerulonephritis and healthy individuals. This applied to subjects with and without chronic kidney disease. Although both suPARnostic™ assay and Quantikine Human uPAR ELISA Kit exerted high sensitivity and specificity for FSGS diagnosis, their cut-off values of 4.644?ng/mL and 2.789?ng/mL were significantly different. Higher suPAR was furthermore predictive for progression to end-stage renal disease. In summary, suPAR values must be interpreted in the context of population and test methods used. Knowing test specific cut-offs makes suPAR a valuable biomarker for FSGS.
Project description:The soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic kidney diseases (CKD) and may function as a circulating "permeability factor" driving primary focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Here we examined the mechanisms whereby suPAR causes mobilization and increased activation of Ca2+-permeable TRPC6 channels, which are also implicated in FSGS. Treatment of immortalized mouse podocytes with recombinant suPAR for 24?h caused a marked increase in cytosolic reactive oxygen species (ROS) that required signaling through integrins. This effect was associated with increased assembly of active cell surface NADPH oxidase 2 (Nox2) complexes and was blocked by the Nox2 inhibitor apoycynin. Treatment with suPAR also evoked a functionally measurable increase in TRPC6 channels that was blocked by concurrent treatment with the ROS-quencher TEMPOL as well as by inhibition of Rac1, an essential component of active Nox2 complexes. Elevated ROS evoked by exposing cells to suPAR or H2O2 caused a marked increase in the abundance of tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins including Src, and suPAR-evoked Src activation was blocked by TEMPOL. Moreover, mobilization and increased activation of TRPC6 by suPAR or H2O2 was blocked by concurrent exposure to PP2, an inhibitor of Src family tyrosine kinases. These data suggest that suPAR induces oxidative stress in podocytes that in turn drives signaling through Src family kinases to upregulate TRPC6 channels. The combination of oxidative stress and altered Ca2+ signaling may contribute to loss of podocytes and progression of various forms of CKD.
Project description:Abatacept (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4-immunoglobulin fusion protein [CTLA-4-Ig]) is a costimulatory inhibitor that targets B7-1 (CD80). The present report describes five patients who had focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) (four with recurrent FSGS after transplantation and one with primary FSGS) and proteinuria with B7-1 immunostaining of podocytes in kidney-biopsy specimens. Abatacept induced partial or complete remissions of proteinuria in these patients, suggesting that B7-1 may be a useful biomarker for the treatment of some glomerulopathies. Our data indicate that abatacept may stabilize ?1-integrin activation in podocytes and reduce proteinuria in patients with B7-1-positive glomerular disease.
Project description:Chronic tubulointerstitial injury impacts the prognosis of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). We found that the level of versican V1 was increased in tubular cells of FSGS patients. Tubular cell-derived versican V1 induced proliferation and collagen synthesis by activating the CD44/Smad3 pathway in fibroblasts. Both urine C3a and suPAR were increased and bound to the tubular cells in FSGS patients. C3a promoted the transcription of versican by activating the AKT/?-catenin pathway. C3aR knockout decreased the expression of versican in Adriamycin-treated (ADR-treated) mice. On the other hand, suPAR bound to integrin ?6 and activated Rac1, which bound to SRp40 at the 5' end of exon 7 in versican pre-mRNA. This binding inhibited the 3'-end splicing of intron 6 and the base-pair interactions between intron 6 and intron 8, leading to the formation of versican V1. Cotreatment with ADR and suPAR specifically increased the level of versican V1 in tubulointerstitial tissues and caused more obvious interstitial fibrosis in mice than treatment with only ADR. Altogether, our results show that C3a and suPAR drive versican V1 expression in tubular cells by promoting transcription and splicing, respectively, and the increases in tubular cell-derived versican V1 induce interstitial fibrosis by activating fibroblasts in FSGS.
Project description:Focal segmental glomerular sclerosis (FSGS) is a primary kidney disease that is commonly associated with proteinuria and progressive loss of glomerular function, leading to development of chronic kidney disease (CKD). FSGS is characterized by podocyte injury and depletion and collapse of glomerular capillary segments. Progression of FSGS is associated with TGF-? activation in podocytes; however, it is not clear how TGF-? signaling promotes disease. Here, we determined that podocyte-specific activation of TGF-? signaling in transgenic mice and BALB/c mice with Adriamycin-induced glomerulosclerosis is associated with endothelin-1 (EDN1) release by podocytes, which mediates mitochondrial oxidative stress and dysfunction in adjacent endothelial cells via paracrine EDN1 receptor type A (EDNRA) activation. Endothelial dysfunction promoted podocyte apoptosis, and inhibition of EDNRA or scavenging of mitochondrial-targeted ROS prevented podocyte loss, albuminuria, glomerulosclerosis, and renal failure. We confirmed reciprocal crosstalk between podocytes and endothelial cells in a coculture system. Biopsies from patients with FSGS exhibited increased mitochondrial DNA damage, consistent with EDNRA-mediated glomerular endothelial mitochondrial oxidative stress. Our studies indicate that segmental glomerulosclerosis develops as a result of podocyte-endothelial crosstalk mediated by EDN1/EDNRA-dependent mitochondrial dysfunction and suggest that targeting the reciprocal interaction between podocytes and endothelia may provide opportunities for therapeutic intervention in FSGS.
Project description:Primary forms of focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) are driven by circulating factors that cause dysfunction or loss podocytes. Rare genetic forms of FSGS can be caused by mutations in TRPC6, which encodes a Ca2+-permeable cationic channel expressed in mesangial cells and podocytes; and NPHS2, which encodes podocin, a TRPC6-binding protein expressed in podocyte slit diaphragm domains. Here we observed that exposing immortalized mouse podocytes to serum or plasma from recurrent FSGS patients for 24h increased the steady-state cell-surface abundance of TRPC6, accompanied by an increase in currents through endogenous TRPC6 channels evoked by a hypoosmotic stretch stimulus. These effects were mimicked by the soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) and by tumor necrosis factor (TNF), circulating factors implicated in nephrotic syndromes. Most but not all of the recurrent FSGS plasma samples that we examined also caused a loss of podocin over a period of several hours. The loss of podocin was also seen following exposure to suPAR but not TNF. However, TNF increased the effects of suPAR on TRPC6 and podocin, and TNF and suPAR are required for the full effects of one of the recurrent FSGS plasma samples. The actions of FSGS plasma, suPAR and TNF on surface abundance of TRPC6 were blocked by cilengitide, an inhibitor of ?v?3-integrin signaling. These data suggest that primary FSGS is a heterogeneous condition mediated by multiple circulating factors, and support TRPC6 and ?v?3-integrin as potential therapeutic targets.