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      Nephron, Wilms’ tumor-1 (WT1), and synaptopodin expression in developing podocytes of mice

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          Abstract

          Newborn mouse glomeruli are still immature with a morphological feature of an early capillary loop stage, but infant mice do not manifest proteinuria. Little is known about the molecular mechanism whereby infant mice are resistant to proteinuria. Nephrin and synaptopodin are crucial for slit diaphragm and foot process (FP) formation for avoiding proteinuria. Nephrin tyrosine phosphorylation means a transient biological signaling required for FP repair or extension during nephrotic disease. Using an immunohistochemical technique, we examined the natural course of nephrin, Wilms’ tumor-1 (WT1) and synaptopodin at 16.5 days of embryonic age (E16.5d) and E19.5d, 7 days of post-neonatal age (P7d) and P42d during renal development of mice. As a result, nephrin and synaptopodin were detected at E19.5d in S-shaped bodies. WT1, a transcriptional factor for nephrin, was detected in nucleus in podocyte-like cells in all stages. Nephrin tyrosine phosphorylation was evident in glomeruli at P7d, and this was associated with an early-stage of FP extension. Inversely, nephrin phosphorylation became faint at P42d, along with maturated FP. Based on the present results, we suggest the sequential molecular mechanism to protect growing mice from proteinuria: (i) WT1-induced nephrin production by podocytes in S-shaped bodies at E19.5d; (ii) Synchronized induction of synaptopodin at the same period; and (iii) FP extension is initiated at a milk-suckling stage under a nephrin tyrosine-phosphorylated condition, while it is arrested at an adult stage, associated with a loss of nephrin-based signaling.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Glomerular-specific alterations of VEGF-A expression lead to distinct congenital and acquired renal diseases.

          Kidney disease affects over 20 million people in the United States alone. Although the causes of renal failure are diverse, the glomerular filtration barrier is often the target of injury. Dysregulation of VEGF expression within the glomerulus has been demonstrated in a wide range of primary and acquired renal diseases, although the significance of these changes is unknown. In the glomerulus, VEGF-A is highly expressed in podocytes that make up a major portion of the barrier between the blood and urinary spaces. In this paper, we show that glomerular-selective deletion or overexpression of VEGF-A leads to glomerular disease in mice. Podocyte-specific heterozygosity for VEGF-A resulted in renal disease by 2.5 weeks of age, characterized by proteinuria and endotheliosis, the renal lesion seen in preeclampsia. Homozygous deletion of VEGF-A in glomeruli resulted in perinatal lethality. Mutant kidneys failed to develop a filtration barrier due to defects in endothelial cell migration, differentiation, and survival. In contrast, podocyte-specific overexpression of the VEGF-164 isoform led to a striking collapsing glomerulopathy, the lesion seen in HIV-associated nephropathy. Our data demonstrate that tight regulation of VEGF-A signaling is critical for establishment and maintenance of the glomerular filtration barrier and strongly supports a pivotal role for VEGF-A in renal disease.
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            Actin up: regulation of podocyte structure and function by components of the actin cytoskeleton.

            Podocytes of the renal glomerulus are unique cells with a complex cellular organization consisting of a cell body, major processes and foot processes. Podocyte foot processes form a characteristic interdigitating pattern with foot processes of neighboring podocytes, leaving in between the filtration slits that are bridged by the glomerular slit diaphragm. The highly dynamic foot processes contain an actin-based contractile apparatus comparable to that of smooth muscle cells or pericytes. Mutations affecting several podocyte proteins lead to rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton, disruption of the filtration barrier and subsequent renal disease. The fact that the dynamic regulation of the podocyte cytoskeleton is vital to kidney function has led to podocytes emerging as an excellent model system for studying actin cytoskeleton dynamics in a physiological context.
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              Synaptopodin orchestrates actin organization and cell motility via regulation of RhoA signalling.

              The Rho family of small GTPases (RhoA, Rac1 and Cdc42) controls signal-transduction pathways that influence many aspects of cell behaviour, including cytoskeletal dynamics. At the leading edge, Rac1 and Cdc42 promote cell motility through the formation of lamellipodia and filopodia, respectively. On the contrary, RhoA promotes the formation of contractile actin-myosin-containing stress fibres in the cell body and at the rear. Here, we identify synaptopodin, an actin-associated protein, as a novel regulator of RhoA signalling and cell migration in kidney podocytes. We show that synaptopodin induces stress fibres by competitive blocking of Smurf1-mediated ubiquitination of RhoA, thereby preventing the targeting of RhoA for proteasomal degradation. Gene silencing of synaptopodin in kidney podocytes causes the loss of stress fibres and the formation of aberrant non-polarized filopodia and impairment of cell migration. Together, these data show that synaptopodin is essential for the integrity of the podocyte actin cytoskeleton and for the regulation of podocyte cell migration.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Exp Anim
                Exp. Anim
                EXPANIM
                Experimental Animals
                Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science
                1341-1357
                1881-7122
                7 February 2017
                2017
                : 66
                : 3
                : 183-189
                Affiliations
                [1) ] Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
                [2) ] Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Kindai University, 377-2 Ohno-higashi, Osaka-sayama, Osaka 589-8511, Japan
                [3) ]Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
                Author notes
                Address corresponding: S. Mizuno, Division of Virology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
                Article
                16-0101
                10.1538/expanim.16-0101
                5543238
                28179596
                ©2017 Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd) License. (CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ )

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