Hypertension is a leading contributor to cardiovascular mortality worldwide. Despite this, its underlying mechanism(s) and the role of excess salt in cardiorenal dysfunction are unclear. Previously, we have identified cross-talk between mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), a nuclear transcription factor regulated by the steroid aldosterone, and the small GTPase Rac1, which is implicated in proteinuric kidney disease. We here show that high-salt loading activates Rac1 in the kidneys in rodent models of salt-sensitive hypertension, leading to blood pressure elevation and renal injury via an MR-dependent pathway. We found that a high-salt diet caused renal Rac1 upregulation in salt-sensitive Dahl (Dahl-S) rats and downregulation in salt-insensitive Dahl (Dahl-R) rats. Despite a reduction of serum aldosterone levels, salt-loaded Dahl-S rats showed increased MR signaling in the kidneys, and Rac1 inhibition prevented hypertension and renal damage with MR repression. We further demonstrated in aldosterone-infused rats as well as adrenalectomized Dahl-S rats with aldosterone supplementation that salt-induced Rac1 and aldosterone acted interdependently to cause MR overactivity and hypertension. Finally, we confirmed the key role of Rac1 in modulating salt susceptibility in mice lacking Rho GDP–dissociation inhibitor α. Therefore, our data identify Rac1 as a determinant of salt sensitivity and provide insights into the mechanism of salt-induced hypertension and kidney injury.
Shigeru Shibata, ShengYu Mu, Hiroo Kawarazaki, Kazuhiko Muraoka, Ken-ichi Ishizawa, Shigetaka Yoshida, Wakako Kawarazaki, Maki Takeuchi, Nobuhiro Ayuzawa, Jun Miyoshi, Yoshimi Takai, Akira Ishikawa, Tatsuo Shimosawa, Katsuyuki Ando, Miki Nagase, Toshiro Fujita
In addition to its role as an essential neurotransmitter, dopamine serves important physiologic functions in organs such as the kidney. Although the kidney synthesizes dopamine through the actions of aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) in the proximal tubule, previous studies have not discriminated between the roles of extrarenal and intrarenal dopamine in the overall regulation of renal function. To address this issue, we generated mice with selective deletion of AADC in the kidney proximal tubules (referred to herein as ptAadc–/– mice), which led to selective decreases in kidney and urinary dopamine. The ptAadc–/– mice exhibited increased expression of nephron sodium transporters, decreased natriuresis and diuresis in response to l-dihydroxyphenylalanine, and decreased medullary COX-2 expression and urinary prostaglandin E2 excretion and developed salt-sensitive hypertension. They had increased renin expression and altered renal Ang II receptor (AT) expression, with increased AT1b and decreased AT2 and Mas expression, associated with increased renal injury in response to Ang II. They also exhibited a substantially shorter life span compared with that of wild-type mice. These results demonstrate the importance of the intrarenal dopaminergic system in salt and water homeostasis and blood pressure control. Decreasing intrarenal dopamine subjects the kidney to unbuffered responses to Ang II and results in the development of hypertension and a dramatic decrease in longevity.
Ming-Zhi Zhang, Bing Yao, Suwan Wang, Xiaofeng Fan, Guanqing Wu, Haichun Yang, Huiyong Yin, Shilin Yang, Raymond C. Harris
Cisplatin is a widely used cancer therapy drug that unfortunately has major side effects in normal tissues, notably nephrotoxicity in kidneys. Despite intensive research, the mechanism of cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity remains unclear, and renoprotective approaches during cisplatin-based chemotherapy are lacking. Here we have identified PKCδ as a critical regulator of cisplatin nephrotoxicity, which can be effectively targeted for renoprotection during chemotherapy. We showed that early during cisplatin nephrotoxicity, Src interacted with, phosphorylated, and activated PKCδ in mouse kidney lysates. After activation, PKCδ regulated MAPKs, but not p53, to induce renal cell apoptosis. Thus, inhibition of PKCδ pharmacologically or genetically attenuated kidney cell apoptosis and tissue damage, preserving renal function during cisplatin treatment. Conversely, inhibition of PKCδ enhanced cisplatin-induced cell death in multiple cancer cell lines and, remarkably, enhanced the chemotherapeutic effects of cisplatin in several xenograft and syngeneic mouse tumor models while protecting kidneys from nephrotoxicity. Together these results demonstrate a role of PKCδ in cisplatin nephrotoxicity and support targeting PKCδ as an effective strategy for renoprotection during cisplatin-based cancer therapy.
Navjotsingh Pabla, Guie Dong, Man Jiang, Shuang Huang, M. Vijay Kumar, Robert O. Messing, Zheng Dong
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is among the most lethal complications that occur in type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Podocyte dysfunction is postulated to be a critical event associated with proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis in glomerular diseases including DN. However, molecular mechanisms of podocyte dysfunction in the development of DN are not well understood. Here we have shown that activity of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1), a kinase that senses nutrient availability, was enhanced in the podocytes of diabetic animals. Further, podocyte-specific mTORC1 activation induced by ablation of an upstream negative regulator (PcKOTsc1) recapitulated many DN features, including podocyte loss, glomerular basement membrane thickening, mesangial expansion, and proteinuria in nondiabetic young and adult mice. Abnormal mTORC1 activation caused mislocalization of slit diaphragm proteins and induced an epithelial-mesenchymal transition–like phenotypic switch with enhanced ER stress in podocytes. Conversely, reduction of ER stress with a chemical chaperone significantly protected against both the podocyte phenotypic switch and podocyte loss in PcKOTsc1 mice. Finally, genetic reduction of podocyte-specific mTORC1 in diabetic animals suppressed the development of DN. These results indicate that mTORC1 activation in podocytes is a critical event in inducing DN and suggest that reduction of podocyte mTORC1 activity is a potential therapeutic strategy to prevent DN.
Ken Inoki, Hiroyuki Mori, Junying Wang, Tsukasa Suzuki, SungKi Hong, Sei Yoshida, Simone M. Blattner, Tsuneo Ikenoue, Markus A. Rüegg, Michael N. Hall, David J. Kwiatkowski, Maria P. Rastaldi, Tobias B. Huber, Matthias Kretzler, Lawrence B. Holzman, Roger C. Wiggins, Kun-Liang Guan
Chronic glomerular diseases, associated with renal failure and cardiovascular morbidity, represent a major health issue. However, they remain poorly understood. Here we have reported that tightly controlled mTOR activity was crucial to maintaining glomerular podocyte function, while dysregulation of mTOR facilitated glomerular diseases. Genetic deletion of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) in mouse podocytes induced proteinuria and progressive glomerulosclerosis. Furthermore, simultaneous deletion of both mTORC1 and mTORC2 from mouse podocytes aggravated the glomerular lesions, revealing the importance of both mTOR complexes for podocyte homeostasis. In contrast, increased mTOR activity accompanied human diabetic nephropathy, characterized by early glomerular hypertrophy and hyperfiltration. Curtailing mTORC1 signaling in mice by genetically reducing mTORC1 copy number in podocytes prevented glomerulosclerosis and significantly ameliorated the progression of glomerular disease in diabetic nephropathy. These results demonstrate the requirement for tightly balanced mTOR activity in podocyte homeostasis and suggest that mTOR inhibition can protect podocytes and prevent progressive diabetic nephropathy.
Markus Gödel, Björn Hartleben, Nadja Herbach, Shuya Liu, Stefan Zschiedrich, Shun Lu, Andrea Debreczeni-Mór, Maja T. Lindenmeyer, Maria-Pia Rastaldi, Götz Hartleben, Thorsten Wiech, Alessia Fornoni, Robert G. Nelson, Matthias Kretzler, Rüdiger Wanke, Hermann Pavenstädt, Dontscho Kerjaschki, Clemens D. Cohen, Michael N. Hall, Markus A. Rüegg, Ken Inoki, Gerd Walz, Tobias B. Huber
Steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) is a frequent cause of end-stage renal failure. Identification of single-gene causes of SRNS has generated some insights into its pathogenesis; however, additional genes and disease mechanisms remain obscure, and SRNS continues to be treatment refractory. Here we have identified 6 different mutations in coenzyme Q10 biosynthesis monooxygenase 6 (COQ6) in 13 individuals from 7 families by homozygosity mapping. Each mutation was linked to early-onset SRNS with sensorineural deafness. The deleterious effects of these human COQ6 mutations were validated by their lack of complementation in coq6-deficient yeast. Furthermore, knockdown of Coq6 in podocyte cell lines and coq6 in zebrafish embryos caused apoptosis that was partially reversed by coenzyme Q10 treatment. In rats, COQ6 was located within cell processes and the Golgi apparatus of renal glomerular podocytes and in stria vascularis cells of the inner ear, consistent with an oto-renal disease phenotype. These data suggest that coenzyme Q10–related forms of SRNS and hearing loss can be molecularly identified and potentially treated.
Saskia F. Heeringa, Gil Chernin, Moumita Chaki, Weibin Zhou, Alexis J. Sloan, Ziming Ji, Letian X. Xie, Leonardo Salviati, Toby W. Hurd, Virginia Vega-Warner, Paul D. Killen, Yehoash Raphael, Shazia Ashraf, Bugsu Ovunc, Dominik S. Schoeb, Heather M. McLaughlin, Rannar Airik, Christopher N. Vlangos, Rasheed Gbadegesin, Bernward Hinkes, Pawaree Saisawat, Eva Trevisson, Mara Doimo, Alberto Casarin, Vanessa Pertegato, Gianpietro Giorgi, Holger Prokisch, Agnès Rötig, Gudrun Nürnberg, Christian Becker, Su Wang, Fatih Ozaltin, Rezan Topaloglu, Aysin Bakkaloglu, Sevcan A. Bakkaloglu, Dominik Müller, Antje Beissert, Sevgi Mir, Afig Berdeli, Seza Özen, Martin Zenker, Verena Matejas, Carlos Santos-Ocaña, Placido Navas, Takehiro Kusakabe, Andreas Kispert, Sema Akman, Neveen A. Soliman, Stefanie Krick, Peter Mundel, Jochen Reiser, Peter Nürnberg, Catherine F. Clarke, Roger C. Wiggins, Christian Faul, Friedhelm Hildebrandt
Obstructive and nonobstructive forms of hydronephrosis (increased diameter of the renal pelvis and calyces) and hydroureter (dilatation of the ureter) are the most frequently detected antenatal abnormalities, yet the underlying molecular mechanisms are largely undefined. Hedgehog (Hh) proteins control tissue patterning and cell differentiation by promoting GLI-dependent transcriptional activation and by inhibiting the processing of GLI3 to a transcriptional repressor. Genetic mutations that generate a truncated GLI3 protein similar in size to the repressor in humans with Pallister-Hall syndrome (PHS; a disorder whose characteristics include renal abnormalities) and hydroureter implicate Hh-dependent signaling in ureter morphogenesis and function. Here, we determined that Hh signaling controls 2 cell populations required for the initiation and transmission of coordinated ureter contractions. Tissue-specific inactivation of the Hh cell surface effector Smoothened (Smo) in the renal pelvic and upper ureteric mesenchyme resulted in nonobstructive hydronephrosis and hydroureter characterized by ureter dyskinesia. Mutant mice had reduced expression of markers of cell populations implicated in the coordination of unidirectional ureter peristalsis (specifically, Kit and hyperpolarization-activation cation–3 channel [Hcn3]), but exhibited normal epithelial and smooth muscle cell differentiation. Kit deficiency in a mouse model of PHS suggested a pathogenic role for GLI3 repressor in Smo-deficient embryos; indeed, genetic inactivation of Gli3 in Smo-deficient mice rescued their hydronephrosis, hydroureter, Kit and Hcn3 expression, and ureter peristalsis. Together, these data demonstrate that Hh signaling controls Kit and Hcn3 expression and ureter peristalsis.
Jason E. Cain, Epshita Islam, Fiona Haxho, Joshua Blake, Norman D. Rosenblum
Solute carrier family 1, member 1 (SLC1A1; also known as EAAT3 and EAAC1) is the major epithelial transporter of glutamate and aspartate in the kidneys and intestines of rodents. Within the brain, SLC1A1 serves as the predominant neuronal glutamate transporter and buffers the synaptic release of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate within the interneuronal synaptic cleft. Recent studies have also revealed that polymorphisms in SLC1A1 are associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in early-onset patient cohorts. Here we report that SLC1A1 mutations leading to substitution of arginine to tryptophan at position 445 (R445W) and deletion of isoleucine at position 395 (I395del) cause human dicarboxylic aminoaciduria, an autosomal recessive disorder of urinary glutamate and aspartate transport that can be associated with mental retardation. These mutations of conserved residues impeded or abrogated glutamate and cysteine transport by SLC1A1 and led to near-absent surface expression in a canine kidney cell line. These findings provide evidence that SLC1A1 is the major renal transporter of glutamate and aspartate in humans and implicate SLC1A1 in the pathogenesis of some neurological disorders.
Charles G. Bailey, Renae M. Ryan, Annora D. Thoeng, Cynthia Ng, Kara King, Jessica M. Vanslambrouck, Christiane Auray-Blais, Robert J. Vandenberg, Stefan Bröer, John E.J. Rasko
Chronic kidney disease is a leading cause of death in the United States. Tubulointerstitial fibrosis (TIF) is considered the final common pathway leading to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Here, we used pharmacologic, genetic, in vivo, and in vitro experiments to show that activation of the Notch pathway in tubular epithelial cells (TECs) in patients and in mouse models of TIF plays a role in TIF development. Expression of Notch in renal TECs was found to be both necessary and sufficient for TIF development. Genetic deletion of the Notch pathway in TECs reduced renal fibrosis. Consistent with this, TEC-specific expression of active Notch1 caused rapid development of TIF. Pharmacologic inhibition of Notch activation using a γ-secretase inhibitor ameliorated TIF. In summary, our experiments establish that epithelial injury and Notch signaling play key roles in fibrosis development and indicate that Notch blockade may be a therapeutic strategy to reduce fibrosis and ESRD development.
Bernhard Bielesz, Yasemin Sirin, Han Si, Thiruvur Niranjan, Antje Gruenwald, Seonho Ahn, Hideki Kato, James Pullman, Manfred Gessler, Volker H. Haase, Katalin Susztak
Adriamycin (ADR) is a commonly used chemotherapeutic agent that also produces significant tissue damage. Mutations to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and reductions in mtDNA copy number have been identified as contributors to ADR-induced injury. ADR nephropathy only occurs among specific mouse inbred strains, and this selective susceptibility to kidney injury maps as a recessive trait to chromosome 16A1-B1. Here, we found that sensitivity to ADR nephropathy in mice was produced by a mutation in the Prkdc gene, which encodes a critical nuclear DNA double-stranded break repair protein. This finding was confirmed in mice with independent Prkdc mutations. Overexpression of Prkdc in cultured mouse podocytes significantly improved cell survival after ADR treatment. While Prkdc protein was not detected in mitochondria, mice with Prkdc mutations showed marked mtDNA depletion in renal tissue upon ADR treatment. To determine whether Prkdc participates in mtDNA regulation, we tested its genetic interaction with Mpv17, which encodes a mitochondrial protein mutated in human mtDNA depletion syndromes (MDDSs). While single mutant mice were asymptomatic, Prkdc/Mpv17 double-mutant mice developed mtDNA depletion and recapitulated many MDDS and ADR injury phenotypes. These findings implicate mtDNA damage in the development of ADR toxicity and identify Prkdc as a MDDS modifier gene and a component of the mitochondrial genome maintenance pathway.
Natalia Papeta, Zongyu Zheng, Eric A. Schon, Sonja Brosel, Mehmet M. Altintas, Samih H. Nasr, Jochen Reiser, Vivette D. D’Agati, Ali G. Gharavi