[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic interactions regulating intermediate stages of tubulogenesis in the developing kidney have been difficult to define. A systems biology strategy using microarray was combined with in vitro/ex vivo and genetic approaches to identify pathways regulating specific stages of tubulogenesis. Analysis of the progression of the metanephric mesenchyme (MM) through four stages of tubule induction and differentiation (i.e., epithelialization, tubular organization and elongation and early differentiation) revealed signaling pathways potentially involved at each stage and suggested key roles for a number of signaling molecules. A screen of the signaling pathways on in vitro/ex vivo nephron formation implicated a unique regulatory role for protein kinase A (PKA), through PKA-2, in a specific post-epithelialization morphogenetic step (conversion of the renal vesicle to the S-shaped body). Microarray analysis not only confirmed this stage-specificity, but also highlighted the upregulation of Wnt genes. Addition of PKA agonists to LIF-induced nephrons (previously shown to be a Wnt/beta-catenin dependent pathway) disrupted normal tubulogenesis in a manner similar to PKA-agonist treated MM/spinal-cord assays, suggesting that PKA regulates a Wnt-dependent tubulogenesis step. PKA induction of canonical Wnt signaling during tubulogenesis was confirmed genetically using MM from Batgal-reporter mice. Addition of a Wnt synthesis inhibitor to activated PKA cultures rescued tubulogenesis. By re-analysis of existing microarray data from the FGF8, Lim1 and Wnt4 knockouts, which arrest in early tubulogenesis, a network of genes involving PKA, Wnt, Lhx1, FGF8, and hyaluronic acid signaling regulating the transition of nascent epithelial cells to tubular epithelium was derived, helping to reconcile in vivo and in vitro/ex vivo data.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Slit diaphragms are essential components of the glomerular filtration apparatus, as changes in these junctions are the hallmark of proteinuric diseases. Slit diaphragms, considered specialized adherens junctions, contain both unique membrane proteins (e.g., nephrin, podocin, and Neph1) and typical adherens junction proteins (e.g., P-cadherin, FAT, and catenins). Whether slit diaphragms also contain tight junction proteins is unknown. Here, immunofluorescence, immunogold labeling, and cell fractionation demonstrated that rat slit diaphragms contain the tight junction proteins JAM-A (junctional adhesion molecule A), occludin, and cingulin. We found these proteins in the same protein complexes as nephrin, podocin, CD2AP, ZO-1, and Neph1 by cosedimentation, coimmunoprecipitation, and pull-down assays. PAN nephrosis increased the protein levels of JAM-A, occludin, cingulin, and ZO-1 several-fold in glomeruli and loosened their attachment to the actin cytoskeleton. These data extend current information about the molecular composition of slit diaphragms by demonstrating the presence of tight junction proteins, although slit diaphragms lack the characteristic morphologic features of tight junctions. The contribution of these proteins to the assembly of slit diaphragms and potential signaling cascades requires further investigation.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 06/2009; 20(7):1491-503. · 9.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that play key roles in metabolism, energy production, and apoptosis. Coordination of these processes is essential to maintain normal cellular functions. Here we characterized hNOA1, the human homologue of AtNOA1 (Arabidopsis thaliana nitric oxide-associated protein 1), a large mitochondrial GTPase. By immunofluorescence, immunoelectron microscopy, and mitochondrial subfractionation, endogenous hNOA1 is localized within mitochondria where it is peripherally associated with the inner mitochondrial membrane facing the mitochondrial matrix. Overexpression and knockdown of hNOA1 led to changes in mitochondrial shape implying effects on mitochondrial dynamics. To identify the interaction partners of hNOA1 and to further understand its cellular functions, we performed immunoprecipitation-mass spectrometry analysis of endogenous hNOA1 from enriched mitochondrial fractions and found that hNOA1 interacts with both Complex I of the electron transport chain and DAP3 (death-associated protein 3), a positive regulator of apoptosis. Knockdown of hNOA1 reduces mitochondrial O(2) consumption approximately 20% in a Complex I-dependent manner, supporting a functional link between hNOA1 and Complex I. Moreover, knockdown of hNOA1 renders cells more resistant to apoptotic stimuli such as gamma-interferon and staurosporine, supporting a role for hNOA1 in regulating apoptosis. Thus, based on its interactions with both Complex I and DAP3, hNOA1 may play a role in mitochondrial respiration and apoptosis.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2009; 284(8):5414-24. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RGS-PX1 (also known as sorting nexin 13) is a member of both the regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) and sorting nexin (SNX) protein families. Biochemical and cell culture studies have shown that RGS-PX1/SNX13 attenuates Galphas-mediated signaling through its RGS domain and regulates endocytic trafficking and degradation of the epidermal growth factor receptor. To understand the functions of RGS-PX1/SNX13 in vivo, we generated mice carrying targeted mutations of Snx13 and found that systemic Snx13-null mice were embryonic lethal around midgestation. Snx13-null embryos had significant overall growth retardation and defects in neural tube closure, blood vessel formation, and the formation of the placental labyrinthine layer. Moreover, the Snx13-null visceral yolk sac endoderm cells showed dramatic changes in the organization of endocytic compartments, abundant autophagic vacuoles, and abnormal localization of several endocytic markers, including megalin, a receptor for nutrients and proteins; ARH, a coat protein that binds megalin; LAMP2; and LC3. These changes suggest that Snx13-null embryos are defective in nutrient uptake and transport, which may contribute to the other developmental abnormalities observed. Taken together, our findings demonstrate an essential role for RGS-PX1/SNX13 in mouse development and provide previously undescribed insights into its cellular function in the regulation of endocytosis dynamics.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2006; 103(45):16776-81. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nephrin is a cell surface receptor of the Ig superfamily that localizes to slit diaphragms, the specialized junctions between the interdigitating foot processes of the glomerular epithelium (podocytes) in the kidney. Mutations in the NPHS1 gene encoding nephrin lead to proteinuria and congenital nephrotic syndrome, indicating that nephrin is essential for normal glomerular development and function. To identify nephrin-binding proteins, we performed mass spectrometry on proteins obtained from pull-down assays with GST-nephrin cytoplasmic domain. Nephrin specifically pulled down six proteins from glomerular lysates, MAGI-2/S-SCAM (membrane-associated guanylate kinase inverted 2/synaptic scaffolding molecule), IQGAP1 (IQ motif-containingGTPase-activatingprotein1),CASK(calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase), alpha-actinin, alphaII spectrin, and betaII spectrin. All of these scaffolding proteins are often associated with cell junctions. By immunofluorescence these proteins are expressed in glomerular epithelial cells, where they colocalize with nephrin in the foot processes. During glomerular development, IQGAP1 is expressed in the junctional complexes between the earliest identifiable podocytes, MAGI-2/S-SCAM is first detected in junctional complexes in podocytes after their migration to the base of the cells. Thus, the nephrin-slit diaphragm protein complex contains a group of scaffolding proteins that function to connect junctional membrane proteins to the actin cytoskeleton and signaling cascades. Despite their special morphology and function, there is considerable compositional similarity between the podocyte slit diaphragm and typical junctional complexes of other epithelial cells.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2005; 102(28):9814-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the NPHS1 gene encoding nephrin lead to congenital nephrotic syndrome of the Finnish type. Nephrin is a key component of the glomerular slit diaphragms between epithelial foot processes, but its role in the pathogenesis of this disease is poorly understood. To further clarify the molecular mechanisms involved we investigated the interactions between nephrin and other components of the foot processes and filtration slits, especially adherens junction proteins, and searched for novel nephrin interacting proteins. Using co-immunoprecipitation and pull-down assays we show here that nephrin forms a multiprotein complex with cadherins and p120 catenin and with three scaffolding proteins, ZO-1, CD2AP, and CASK, in kidney glomeruli and when expressed in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. CASK was identified as a novel binding partner of nephrin by mass spectrometry and was localized to podocytes in the glomerulus. CASK is a scaffolding protein that participates in maintenance of polarized epithelial cell architecture by linking membrane proteins and signaling molecules to the actin cytoskeleton. Our results support a model whereby the glomerular slit diaphragms are composed of cell adhesion molecules of the immunoglobulin and cadherin superfamilies that are connected to each other and to the actin cytoskeleton and signaling networks via the cytoplasmic scaffolding proteins CASK, CD2AP, and ZO-1.
American Journal Of Pathology 10/2004; 165(3):923-36. · 4.60 Impact Factor