Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common human monogenic genetic disorder and is characterized by progressive bilateral renal cysts and the development of renal insufficiency. The cystogenesis of ADPKD is believed to be a monoclonal proliferation of PKD-deficient (PKD–/–) renal tubular epithelial cells. To define the function of Pkd1, we generated chimeric mice by aggregation of Pkd1–/– ES cells and Pkd1+/+ morulae from ROSA26 mice. As occurs in humans with ADPKD, these mice developed cysts in the kidney, liver, and pancreas. Surprisingly, the cyst epithelia of the kidney were composed of both Pkd1–/– and Pkd1+/+ renal tubular epithelial cells in the early stages of cystogenesis. Pkd1–/– cyst epithelial cells changed in shape from cuboidal to flat and replaced Pkd1+/+ cyst epithelial cells lost by JNK-mediated apoptosis in intermediate stages. In late-stage cysts, Pkd1–/– cells continued immortalized proliferation with downregulation of p53. These results provide a novel understanding of the cystogenesis of ADPKD patients. Furthermore, immortalized proliferation without induction of p53 was frequently observed in 3T3-type culture of mouse embryonic fibroblasts from Pkd1–/– mice. Thus, Pkd1 plays a role in preventing immortalized proliferation of renal tubular epithelial cells through the induction of p53 and activation of JNK.


Saori Nishio, Masahiko Hatano, Michio Nagata, Shigeo Horie, Takao Koike, Takeshi Tokuhisa, Toshio Mochizuki


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