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Maladaptive proximal tubule (PT) repair has been implicated in kidney fibrosis through induction of cell-cycle arrest at G2/M. We explored the relative importance of the PT DNA damage response (DDR) in kidney fibrosis by genetically inactivating ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR), which is a sensor and upstream initiator of the DDR. In human chronic kidney disease, ATR expression inversely correlates with DNA damage. ATR was upregulated in approximately 70% of Lotus tetragonolobus lectin-positive (LTL+) PT cells in cisplatin-exposed human kidney organoids. Inhibition of ATR resulted in greater PT cell injury in organoids and cultured PT cells. PT-specific Atr-knockout (ATRRPTC-/-) mice exhibited greater kidney function impairment, DNA damage, and fibrosis than did WT mice in response to kidney injury induced by either cisplatin, bilateral ischemia-reperfusion, or unilateral ureteral obstruction. ATRRPTC-/- mice had more cells in the G2/M phase after injury than did WT mice after similar treatments. In conclusion, PT ATR activation is a key component of the DDR, which confers a protective effect mitigating the maladaptive repair and consequent fibrosis that follow kidney injury.
Tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (TSC2), or tuberin, is a pivotal regulator of the mechanistic target of rapamycin signaling pathway that controls cell survival, proliferation, growth, and migration. Loss of function manifests in organ-specific consequences, the mechanisms of which remain incompletely understood. Recent single cell analysis of the kidney has identified ATP-binding cassette G2 (Abcg2) expression in renal proximal tubules of adult mice as well as a in a novel cell population. The impact in adult kidney of knockdown in the Abcg2-expressing lineage has not been evaluated. We engineered an inducible system in which expression of truncated , lacking exons 36-37 with an intact 3' region and polycystin 1, is driven by Here, we demonstrate that selective expression of in the Abcg2 lineage drives recombination in proximal tubule epithelial and rare perivascular mesenchymal cells, which results in progressive proximal tubule injury, impaired kidney function, formation of cystic lesions, and fibrosis in adult mice. These data illustrate the critical importance of function in the Abcg2-expressing proximal tubule epithelium and mesenchyme during the development of cystic lesions and remodeling of kidney parenchyma.
BACKGROUND - The discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) is activated by collagens, upregulated in injured and fibrotic kidneys, and contributes to fibrosis by regulating extracellular matrix production, but how DDR1 controls fibrosis is poorly understood. DDR1 is a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK). RTKs can translocate to the nucleus a nuclear localization sequence (NLS) present on the receptor itself or a ligand it is bound to. In the nucleus, RTKs regulate gene expression by binding chromatin directly or by interacting with transcription factors.
METHODS - To determine whether DDR1 translocates to the nucleus and whether this event is mediated by collagen-induced DDR1 activation, we generated renal cells expressing wild-type or mutant forms of DDR1 no longer able to bind collagen. Then, we determined the location of the DDR1 upon collagen stimulation. Using both biochemical assays and immunofluorescence, we analyzed the steps involved in DDR1 nuclear translocation.
RESULTS - We show that although DDR1 and its natural ligand, collagen, lack an NLS, DDR1 is present in the nucleus of injured human and mouse kidney proximal tubules. We show that DDR1 nuclear translocation requires collagen-mediated receptor activation and interaction of DDR1 with SEC61B, a component of the Sec61 translocon, and nonmuscle myosin IIA and -actin. Once in the nucleus, DDR1 binds to chromatin to increase the transcription of collagen IV, a major collagen upregulated in fibrosis.
CONCLUSIONS - These findings reveal a novel mechanism whereby activated DDR1 translates to the nucleus to regulate synthesis of profibrotic molecules.
Copyright © 2019 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Flow cytometry studies on injured kidney tubules are complicated by the low yield of nucleated single cells. Furthermore, cell-specific responses such as cell cycle dynamics in vivo have conventionally relied on indirect immunohistochemistry and proximal tubule markers that may be downregulated in injury. Here, we report a new tissue dissociation protocol for the kidney with an early fixation step that greatly enhances the yield of single cells. Genetic labeling of the proximal tubule with either mT/mG "tomato" or R26Fucci2aR (Fucci) cell cycle reporter mice allows us to follow proximal tubule-specific changes in cell cycle after renal injury. Image-based flow cytometry (FlowSight) enables gating of the cell cycle and concurrent visualization of the cells with bright field and fluorescence. We used the Fucci mouse in conjunction with FlowSight to identify a discrete polyploid population in proximal tubules after aristolochic acid injury. The tissue dissociation protocol in conjunction with genetic labeling and image-based flow cytometry is a tool that can improve our understanding of any discrete cell population after injury.
Fibrosis contributes to the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Severe acute kidney injury can lead to CKD through proximal tubular cell (PTC) cycle arrest in the G-M phase, with secretion of profibrotic factors. Here, we show that epithelial cells in the G-M phase form target of rapamycin (TOR)-autophagy spatial coupling compartments (TASCCs), which promote profibrotic secretion similar to the senescence-associated secretory phenotype. Cyclin G1 (CG1), an atypical cyclin, promoted G-M arrest in PTCs and up-regulated TASCC formation. PTC TASCC formation was also present in humans with CKD. Prevention of TASCC formation in cultured PTCs blocked secretion of profibrotic factors. PTC-specific knockout of a key TASCC component reduced the rate of kidney fibrosis progression in mice with CKD. CG1 induction and TASCC formation also occur in liver fibrosis. Deletion of CG1 reduced G-M phase cells and TASCC formation in vivo. This study provides mechanistic evidence supporting how profibrotic G-M arrest is induced in kidney injury and how G-M-arrested PTCs promote fibrosis, identifying new therapeutic targets to mitigate kidney fibrosis.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
We used the CRISPR/Cas9 system to knock-in reporter transgenes at the kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) locus and isolated human proximal tubule cell (HK-2) clones. PCR verified targeted knock-in of the luciferase and eGFP reporter at the KIM-1 locus. HK-2-KIM-1 reporter cells responded to various stimuli including hypoxia, cisplatin, and high glucose, indicative of upregulation of KIM-1 expression. We attempted using CRISPR/Cas9 to also engineer the KIM-1 reporter in telomerase-immortalized human RPTEC cells. However, these cells demonstrated an inability to undergo homologous recombination at the target locus. KIM-1-reporter human proximal tubular cells could be valuable tools in drug discovery for molecules inhibiting kidney injury. Additionally, our gene targeting strategy could be used in other cell lines to evaluate the biology of KIM-1 in vitro or in vivo.
Loss of the short arm of chromosome 3 (3p) occurs early in >95% of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Nearly ubiquitous 3p loss in ccRCC suggests haploinsufficiency for 3p tumor suppressors as early drivers of tumorigenesis. We previously reported methyltransferase , which trimethylates H3 histones on lysine 36 (H3K36me3) and is located in the 3p deletion, to also trimethylate microtubules on lysine 40 (αTubK40me3) during mitosis, with αTubK40me3 required for genomic stability. We now show that monoallelic, -deficient cells retaining H3K36me3, but not αTubK40me3, exhibit a dramatic increase in mitotic defects and micronuclei count, with increased viability compared with biallelic loss. In -inactivated human kidney cells, rescue with a pathogenic mutant deficient for microtubule (αTubK40me3), but not histone (H3K36me3) methylation, replicated this phenotype. Genomic instability (micronuclei) was also a hallmark of patient-derived cells from ccRCC. These data show that the tumor suppressor displays a haploinsufficiency phenotype disproportionately impacting microtubule methylation and serves as an early driver of genomic instability. Loss of a single allele of a chromatin modifier plays a role in promoting oncogenesis, underscoring the growing relevance of tumor suppressor haploinsufficiency in tumorigenesis. .
©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.
Hyperkalemia in association with metabolic acidosis that are out of proportion to changes in glomerular filtration rate defines type 4 renal tubular acidosis (RTA), the most common RTA observed, but the molecular mechanisms underlying the associated metabolic acidosis are incompletely understood. We sought to determine whether hyperkalemia directly causes metabolic acidosis and, if so, the mechanisms through which this occurs. We studied a genetic model of hyperkalemia that results from early distal convoluted tubule (DCT)-specific overexpression of constitutively active Ste20/SPS1-related proline-alanine-rich kinase (DCT-CA-SPAK). DCT-CA-SPAK mice developed hyperkalemia in association with metabolic acidosis and suppressed ammonia excretion; however, titratable acid excretion and urine pH were unchanged compared with those in wild-type mice. Abnormal ammonia excretion in DCT-CA-SPAK mice associated with decreased proximal tubule expression of the ammonia-generating enzymes phosphate-dependent glutaminase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and overexpression of the ammonia-recycling enzyme glutamine synthetase. These mice also had decreased expression of the ammonia transporter family member Rhcg and decreased apical polarization of H-ATPase in the inner stripe of the outer medullary collecting duct. Correcting the hyperkalemia by treatment with hydrochlorothiazide corrected the metabolic acidosis, increased ammonia excretion, and normalized ammoniagenic enzyme and Rhcg expression in DCT-CA-SPAK mice. In wild-type mice, induction of hyperkalemia by administration of the epithelial sodium channel blocker benzamil caused hyperkalemia and suppressed ammonia excretion. Hyperkalemia decreases proximal tubule ammonia generation and collecting duct ammonia transport, leading to impaired ammonia excretion that causes metabolic acidosis.
Copyright © 2018 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Tubulointerstitial fibrosis (TIF) is the hallmark of chronic kidney disease and best predictor of renal survival. Many different cell types contribute to TIF progression including tubular epithelial cells, myofibroblasts, endothelia, and inflammatory cells. Previously, most of the attention has centered on myofibroblasts given their central importance in extracellular matrix production. However, emerging data focuses on how the response of the proximal tubule, a specialized epithelial segment vulnerable to injury, plays a central role in TIF progression. Several proximal tubular responses such as de-differentiation, cell cycle changes, autophagy, and metabolic changes may be adaptive initially, but can lead to maladaptive responses that promote TIF both through autocrine and paracrine effects. This review discusses the current paradigm of TIF progression and the increasingly important role of the proximal tubule in promoting TIF both in tubulointerstitial and glomerular injuries. A better understanding and appreciation of the role of the proximal tubule in TIF has important implications for therapeutic strategies to halt chronic kidney disease progression.
Copyright © 2018 International Society of Matrix Biology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The TGF- and Wnt/-catenin pathways have important roles in modulating CKD, but how these growth factors affect the epithelial response to CKD is not well studied. TGF- has strong profibrotic effects, but this pleiotropic factor has many different cellular effects depending on the target cell type. To investigate how TGF- signaling in the proximal tubule, a key target and mediator of CKD, alters the response to CKD, we injured mice lacking the TGF- type 2 receptor specifically in this epithelial segment. Compared with littermate controls, mice lacking the proximal tubular TGF- receptor had significantly increased tubular injury and tubulointerstitial fibrosis in two different models of CKD. RNA sequencing indicated that deleting the TGF- receptor in proximal tubule cells modulated many growth factor pathways, but Wnt/-catenin signaling was the pathway most affected. We validated that deleting the proximal tubular TGF- receptor impaired -catenin activity and Genetically restoring -catenin activity in proximal tubules lacking the TGF- receptor dramatically improved the tubular response to CKD in mice. Deleting the TGF- receptor alters many growth factors, and therefore, this ameliorated response may be a direct effect of -catenin activity or an indirect effect of -catenin interacting with other growth factors. In conclusion, blocking TGF- and -catenin crosstalk in proximal tubules exacerbates tubular injury in two models of CKD.
Copyright © 2017 by the American Society of Nephrology.