Podocytes are key to kidney glomerular filtration barrier by forming slit diaphragm between interdigitating foot processes; however, molecular details and functional importance of protein folding and degradation in the ER remain unknown. Here we show that SEL1L-HRD1 protein complex of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) is required for slit diaphragm formation and glomerular filtration function. SEL1L-HRD1 ERAD is highly expressed in podocytes of both mouse and human kidneys. Mice with podocyte-specific Sel1L deficiency develop podocytopathy and severe congenital nephrotic syndrome shortly after weaning with impaired slit diaphragm, and die prematurely with a median life span of ~3 months. Mechanistically, we show that nephrin, a type-1 membrane protein causally linked to congenital nephrotic syndrome, is an endogenous ERAD substrate. ERAD deficiency attenuates the maturation of nascent nephrin, leading to its retention in the ER. Lastly, we show that various autosomal-recessive nephrin disease mutants are highly unstable and degraded by Sel1L-Hrd1 ERAD, which attenuates the pathogenicity of the mutants towards the wildtype allele. Hence, this study uncovers a critical role of Sel1L-Hrd1 ERAD in glomerular filtration barrier function and provides new insights into the pathogenesis associated with autosomal recessive disease mutants.
Sei Yoshida, Xiaoqiong Wei, Gensheng Zhang, Christopher L. O’Connor, Mauricio Torres, Zhangsen Zhou, Liangguang Lin, Rajasree Menon, Xiaoxi Xu, Wenyue Zheng, Yi Xiong, Edgar A. Otto, Chih-Hang Anthony Tang, Rui Hua, Rakesh Verma, Hiroyuki Mori, Yang Zhang, Chih-Chi Andrew Hu, Ming Liu, Puneet Garg, Jeffrey B. Hodgin, Shengyi Sun, Markus Bitzer, Ling Qi
Renal fibrosis, a common pathological manifestation of virtually all types of chronic kidney diseases (CKD), often results in diffuse kidney scarring and predisposes to end-stage renal disease. Currently, there is no effective therapy against renal fibrosis. Recently, our laboratory identified an ER-resident protein, thioredoxin domain containing 5 (TXNDC5), as a critical mediator of cardiac fibrosis. Transcriptome analyses of renal biopsy specimens from CKD patients revealed marked TXNDC5 upregulation in fibrotic kidneys, suggesting a potential role of TXNDC5 in renal fibrosis. Employing multiple fluorescent reporter mouse lines, we showed that TXNDC5 was specifically upregulated in collagen-secreting fibroblasts in fibrotic mouse kidneys. In addition, we showed that TXNDC5 was required for TGFβ1-induced fibrogenic responses in human kidney fibroblasts (HKF), whereas TXNDC5 over-expression was sufficient to promote HKF activation, proliferation and collagen production. Mechanistically, we showed that TXNDC5, transcriptionally controlled by ATF6-dependent ER stress pathway, mediates its pro-fibrogenic effects by enforcing TGFβ signaling activity through post-translational stabilization and upregulation of type I TGFβ receptor in kidney fibroblasts. Using a tamoxifen-inducible, fibroblast-specific Txndc5 knockout mouse line, we demonstrated that deletion of Txndc5 in kidney fibroblasts mitigated the progression of established kidney fibrosis, suggesting the therapeutic potential of TXNDC5 targeting for renal fibrosis and CKD.
Yen-Ting Chen, Pei-Yu Jhao, Chen-Ting Hung, Yueh-Feng Wu, Sung-Jan Lin, Wen-Chih Chiang, Shuei-Liong Lin, Kai-Chien Yang
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains a major epidemiological, clinical and biomedical challenge. During CKD, renal tubular epithelial cells (TECs) suffer a persistent inﬂammatory and proﬁbrotic response. Fatty acid oxidation (FAO), the main source of energy for TECs, is reduced in kidney fibrosis and contributes to its pathogenesis. To determine if FAO gain-of-function (FAO-GOF) could protect from fibrosis, we generated a conditional transgenic mouse model with overexpression of the fatty acid shuttling enzyme carnitine palmitoyl-transferase 1 A (CPT1A) in TECs. Cpt1a knock-in mice subjected to three different models of renal fibrosis (unilateral ureteral obstruction, folic acid nephropathy-FAN and adenine induced nephrotoxicity) exhibited decreased expression of fibrotic markers, a blunted pro-inflammatory response and reduced epithelial cell damage and macrophage influx. Protection from fibrosis was also observed when Cpt1a overexpression was induced after FAN. FAO-GOF restituted oxidative metabolism and mitochondrial number and enhanced bioenergetics increasing palmitate oxidation and ATP levels, changes also recapitulated in TECs exposed to profibrotic stimuli. Studies in patients evidenced decreased CPT1 levels and increased accumulation of short and middle chain acyl-carnitines, reflecting impaired FAO in human CKD. We propose that strategies based on FAO-GOF may constitute powerful alternatives to combat fibrosis inherent to CKD.
Verónica Miguel, Jessica Tituaña, J. Ignacio Herrero, Laura Herrero, Dolors Serra, Paula Cuevas-Delgado, Coral Barbas, Diego Rodriguez-Puyol, Laura Marquez-Exposito, Marta Ruiz-Ortega, Carolina Castillo, Xin Sheng, Katalin Susztak, Miguel Ruiz-Canela, Jordi Salas-Salvado, Miguel A. Martinez-Gonzalez, Sagrario Ortega, Ricardo Ramos-Ruiz, Santiago Lamas
DREAM is a transcriptional repressor complex that regulates cell proliferation and its loss causes neonatal lethality in mice. To investigate DREAM function in adult mice, we utilized an assembly defective p107 protein and conditional deletion of its redundant family member p130. In the absence of DREAM assembly, mice displayed shortened survival characterized by systemic amyloidosis, but no evidence of excessive cellular proliferation. Amyloid deposits were found in the heart, liver, spleen, and kidneys, but not the brain or bone marrow. Using laser capture microdissection followed by mass spectrometry, we identified apolipoproteins as the most abundant components of amyloids. Intriguingly, apoA-IV was the most detected amyloidogenic protein in amyloid deposits, suggesting AApoAIV amyloidosis. AApoAIV is a recently described form whereby wildtype apoA-IV has been shown to predominate in amyloid plaques. We determined that DREAM directly regulates Apoa4 by chromatin immunoprecipitation and that the histone variant H2AZ is reduced from the Apoa4 gene body in DREAM’s absence, leading to overexpression. Collectively, we describe a mechanism by which epigenetic misregulation causes apolipoprotein overexpression and amyloidosis, potentially explaining the origins of non-genetic amyloid subtypes.
Pirunthan Perampalam, Haider M. Hassan, Grace E. Lilly, Daniel T. Passos, Joseph Torchia, Patti K. Kiser, Andrea Bozovic, Vathany Kulasingam, Frederick A. Dick
Mutations affecting mitochondrial coenzyme Q (CoQ) biosynthesis lead to kidney failure due to selective loss of podocytes, essential cells of the kidney filter. Curiously, neighboring tubular epithelial cells are spared early in disease, despite higher mitochondrial content. We sought to illuminate non-canonical, cell-specific roles for CoQ, independent of the electron transport chain (ETC). Here we demonstrate that CoQ depletion caused by Pdss2 enzyme deficiency in podocytes results in perturbations in polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) metabolism and the Braf/Mapk pathway, rather than ETC dysfunction. Single nucleus RNA sequencing from kidneys of Pdss2kd/kd mice with nephrotic syndrome and global CoQ-deficiency identified a podocyte-specific perturbation of the Braf/Mapk pathway. Treatment with GDC-0879, a Braf/Mapk-targeting compound ameliorated kidney disease in Pdss2kd/kd mice. Mechanistic studies in Pdss2-depleted podocytes revealed a previously unknown perturbation in PUFA metabolism that was confirmed in vivo. Gpx4, an enzyme that protects against PUFA-mediated lipid peroxidation, was elevated in disease and restored after GDC-0879 treatment. We demonstrate broader human disease relevance by uncovering patterns of GPX4 and Braf/Mapk pathway gene expression in tissue from patients with kidney diseases. Our studies reveal ETC-independent roles for CoQ in podocytes and point to Braf/Mapk as a candidate pathway for the treatment of kidney diseases.
Eriene-Heidi Sidhom, Choah Kim, Maria Kost-Alimova, May Theng Ting, Keith Keller, Julian Avila-Pacheco, Andrew J.B. Watts, Katherine A. Vernon, Jamie L. Marshall, Estefanía Reyes-Bricio, Matthew Racette, Nicolas Wieder, Giulio Kleiner, Elizabeth J. Grinkevich, Fei Chen, Astrid Weins, Clary B. Clish, Jillian L. Shaw, Catarina M. Quinzii, Anna Greka
Human metabolic incorporation of non-human sialic acid (Sia) N-glycolylneuraminic acid into endogenous glycans generates inflammation via pre-existing antibodies, likely contributing to red-meat-induced atherosclerosis acceleration. Exploring if this mechanism affects atherosclerosis in end-stage renal disease (ESRD), we instead found serum accumulation of 2-keto-3-deoxy-D-glycero-D-galacto-2-nonulosonic acid (Kdn), a Sia prominently expressed in cold-blooded vertebrates. Levels of Kdn precursor mannose also increased but within normal range in ESRD patients. Mannose ingestion by healthy volunteers raised urinary mannose and Kdn. Kdn production pathways remain conserved in mammals but were diminished by a M42T substitution in a key biosynthetic enzyme, N-acetylneuraminate synthase. Remarkably, reversion to the ancestral methionine then occurred independently in two lineages, including humans. However, mammalian glycan databases contain no Kdn-glycans. We hypothesize that potential toxicities of excess mannose in mammals is partly buffered by conversion to free Kdn. Thus, mammals likely conserved Kdn biosynthesis and modulated it in lineage-specific manner, not for glycosylation, but to control physiological mannose intermediates/metabolites. However, human cells can be forced to express Kdn-glycans, via genetic mutations enhancing Kdn utilization, or by transfection with fish enzymes producing CMP-Kdn. Antibodies against Kdn-glycans occur in pooled human immunoglobulins. Pathological conditions that elevate Kdn levels could therefore result in antibody-mediated inflammatory pathologies.
Kunio Kawanishi, Sudeshna Saha, Sandra Diaz, Michael Vaill, Aniruddha Sasmal, Shoib S. Siddiqui, Biswa P. Choudhury, Kumar Sharma, Xi Chen, Ian C. Schoenhofen, Chihiro Sato, Ken Kitajima, Hudson H. Freeze, Anja Münster-Kühnel, Ajit Varki
Primary membranous nephropathy (pMN) is a leading cause of the nephrotic syndrome in adults. In most cases, this autoimmune kidney disease is associated with autoantibodies against the M-type phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R1) expressed on kidney podocytes, but the mechanisms leading to glomerular damage remain elusive. Here, we developed a cell culture model using human podocytes and found that anti-PLA2R1 positive pMN patient sera or isolated IgG4, but not IgG4-depleted sera, induce proteolysis of the two essential podocyte proteins synaptopodin and NEPH1 in the presence of complement, resulting in perturbations of the podocyte cytoskeleton. Specific blockade of the lectin pathway prevented degradation of synaptopodin and NEPH1. Anti-PLA2R1-IgG4 directly bound mannose-binding lectin in a glycosylation-dependent manner. In a cohort of pMN patients, we identified increased levels of galactose-deficient IgG4, which correlated with anti-PLA2R1-titers and podocyte damage induced by patient sera. Assembly of the terminal C5b-9 complement complex and activation of the complement receptors C3aR1 or C5aR1 was required to induce proteolysis of synaptopodin and NEPH1 by two distinct proteolytic pathways, mediated by cysteine and aspartic proteinases, respectively. Together, these results demonstrate a mechanism by which aberrantly glycosylated IgG4 activates the lectin pathway and induces podocyte injury in primary membranous nephropathy.
George Haddad, Johan M. Lorenzen, Hong Ma, Noortje de Haan, Harald Seeger, Christelle Zaghrini, Simone Brandt, Malte Kölling, Urs Wegmann, Bence Kiss, Gábor Pál, Péter Gál, Rudolf P. Wuthrich, Manfred Wuhrer, Laurence H. Beck, David J. Salant, Gérard Lambeau, Andreas D. Kistler
Introduction: Acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are common in hospitalized patients. To inform clinical decision-making, more accurate information regarding risk of long-term progression to kidney failure is required. Methods: We enrolled 1538 hospitalized patients in a multicenter, prospective cohort study. Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL2), uromodulin (UMOD), and YKL-40 (CHI3L1) were measured in urine samples collected during outpatient follow-up at 3 months. We followed patients for a median of 4.3 years and assessed the relationship between biomarker levels and changes in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) over time and the development of a composite kidney outcome (CKD incidence, CKD progression, or end-stage renal disease). We paired these clinical studies with investigations in mouse models of renal atrophy and renal repair to further understand the molecular basis of these markers in kidney disease progression. Results: Higher MCP-1 and YKL-40 levels were associated with greater eGFR decline and increased incidence of the composite renal outcome, whereas higher UMOD levels were associated with smaller eGFR declines and decreased incidence of the composite kidney outcome. A multimarker score increased prognostic accuracy and reclassification compared with traditional clinical variables alone. The mouse model of renal atrophy showed greater Ccl2 and Chi3l1 mRNA expression in infiltrating macrophages and neutrophils, respectively, and evidence of progressive renal fibrosis compared with the repair model. The repair model showed greater Umod expression in the loop of Henle and correspondingly less fibrosis. Conclusions: Biomarker levels at 3 months after hospitalization identify patients at risk for kidney disease progression. Funding: National Institutes of Health grants U01DK082223, U01DK082185, U01DK082192, U01DK082183, R01HL085757, R01DK098233, R01DK101507, R01DK114014, K23DK100468, R03DK111881, R01DK093771, K01DK120783, P30DK079310, P30DK114809.
Jeremy Puthumana, Heather Thiessen-Philbrook, Leyuan Xu, Steven G. Coca, Amit X. Garg, Jonathan Himmelfarb, Pavan K. Bhatraju, Talat Alp Ikizler, Edward Siew, Lorraine B. Ware, Kathleen D. Liu, Alan S. Go, James S. Kaufman, Paul L. Kimmel, Vernon M. Chinchilli, Lloyd Cantley, Chirag R. Parikh
The sodium-phosphate co-transporter NPT2a plays a key role in reabsorbing filtered phosphate in proximal renal tubules thereby critically contributing to phosphate homeostasis. Inadequate urinary phosphate excretion can lead to severe hyperphosphatemia as in tumoral calcinosis, and in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Pharmacological inhibition of NPT2a may therefore represent a novel approach for treating hyperphosphatemic conditions. The NPT2a-selective small molecule inhibitor, PF-06869206, was previously shown to reduce phosphate uptake in human proximal tubular cells in vitro. We now investigated the acute and chronic effects of the inhibitor in vivo and report that administration of PF-06869206 was well-tolerated and elicited a dose-dependent increase in fractional phosphate excretion. This phosphaturic effect lowered plasma phosphate levels in wild-type mice and in rats with CKD due to subtotal nephrectomy. PF-06869206 had no effect in Npt2a-null mice, but promoted phosphate excretion and reduced plasma phosphate in normophophatemic mice lacking Npt2c and in hyperphosphatemic mice lacking Fgf23 or Galnt3. In CKD rats, once daily administration of PF-06869206 for eight weeks induced an unabated acute phosphaturic and hypophosphatemic effect, but had no significant effect on FGF23 or PTH levels. Selective pharmacological inhibition of NPT2a thus holds promises as a novel therapeutic option for genetic and acquired hyperphosphatemic disorders.
Valerie Clerin, Hiroshi Saito, Kevin J. Filipski, An Hai Nguyen, Jeonifer Garren, Janka Kisucka, Monica Reyes, Harald Jüppner
Dysregulation of autophagy in diabetic kidney disease (DKD) has been reported, but the underlying mechanism and its pathogenic role remain elusive. We show that autophagy was inhibited in DKD models and in human diabetic kidneys. Ablation of autophagy-related gene 7 (Atg7) from kidney proximal tubules led to autophagy deficiency and worse renal hypertrophy, tubular damage, inflammation, fibrosis, and albuminuria in diabetic mice, indicating a protective role of autophagy in DKD. Autophagy impairment in DKD was associated with the downregulation of unc-51–like autophagy-activating kinase 1 (ULK1), which was mediated by the upregulation of microRNA-214 (miR-214) in diabetic kidney cells and tissues. Ablation of miR-214 from kidney proximal tubules prevented a decrease in ULK1 expression and autophagy impairment in diabetic kidneys, resulting in less renal hypertrophy and albuminuria. Furthermore, blockade of p53 attenuated miR-214 induction in DKD, leading to higher levels of ULK1 and autophagy, accompanied by an amelioration of DKD. Compared with nondiabetic samples, renal biopsies from patients with diabetes showed induction of p53 and miR-214, associated with downregulation of ULK1 and autophagy. We found a positive correlation between p53/miR-214 and renal fibrosis, but a negative correlation between ULK1/LC3 and renal fibrosis in patients with diabetes. Together, these results identify the p53/miR-214/ULK1 axis in autophagy impairment in diabetic kidneys, pinpointing possible therapeutic targets for DKD.
Zhengwei Ma, Lin Li, Man J. Livingston, Dongshan Zhang, Qingsheng Mi, Ming Zhang, Han-Fei Ding, Yuqing Huo, Changlin Mei, Zheng Dong