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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.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy and renal fibrosis; however, the causative role of sustained EGFR activation is unclear. Here, we generated a novel kidney fibrotic mouse model of persistent EGFR activation by selectively expressing the EGFR ligand, human heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (hHB-EGF), in renal proximal tubule epithelium. hHB-EGF expression increased tyrosine kinase phosphorylation of EGFR and the subsequent activation of downstream signaling pathways, including ERK and AKT, as well as the profibrotic TGF-β1/SMAD pathway. Epithelial-specific activation of EGFR was sufficient to promote spontaneous and progressive renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis, as characterized by increased collagen deposition, immune cell infiltration, and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA)-positive myofibroblasts. Tubule-specific EGFR activation promoted epithelial dedifferentiation and cell-cycle arrest. Furthermore, EGFR activation in epithelial cells promoted the proliferation of α-SMA myofibroblasts in a paracrine manner. Genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of EGFR tyrosine kinase activity or downstream MEK activity attenuated the fibrotic phenotype. This study provides definitive evidence that sustained activation of EGFR in proximal epithelia is sufficient to cause spontaneous, progressive renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis, evident by epithelial dedifferentiation, increased myofibroblasts, immune cell infiltration, and increased matrix deposition.-Overstreet, J. M., Wang, Y., Wang, X., Niu, A., Gewin, L. S., Yao, B., Harris, R. C., Zhang, M.-Z. Selective activation of epidermal growth factor receptor in renal proximal tubule induces tubulointerstitial fibrosis.
Angiotensin II-induced hypertension is associated with an increase in T-cell production of interleukin-17A (IL-17A). Recently, we reported that IL-17A(-/-) mice exhibit blunted hypertension, preserved natriuresis in response to a saline challenge, and decreased renal sodium hydrogen exchanger 3 expression after 2 weeks of angiotensin II infusion compared with wild-type mice. In the current study, we performed renal transporter profiling in mice deficient in IL-17A or the related isoform, IL-17F, after 4 weeks of Ang II infusion, the time when the blood pressure reduction in IL-17A(-/-) mice is most prominent. Deficiency of IL-17A abolished the activation of distal tubule transporters, specifically the sodium-chloride cotransporter and the epithelial sodium channel and protected mice from glomerular and tubular injury. In human proximal tubule (HK-2) cells, IL-17A increased sodium hydrogen exchanger 3 expression through a serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1-dependent pathway. In mouse distal convoluted tubule cells, IL-17A increased sodium-chloride cotransporter activity in a serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1/Nedd4-2-dependent pathway. In both cell types, acute treatment with IL-17A induced phosphorylation of serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 at serine 78, and treatment with a serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 inhibitor blocked the effects of IL-17A on sodium hydrogen exchanger 3 and sodium-chloride cotransporter. Interestingly, both HK-2 and mouse distal convoluted tubule 15 cells produce endogenous IL-17A. IL17F had little or no effect on blood pressure or renal sodium transporter abundance. These studies provide a mechanistic link by which IL-17A modulates renal sodium transport and suggest that IL-17A inhibition may improve renal function in hypertension and other autoimmune disorders.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.
Drug-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) is often encountered in hospitalized patients. Although serum creatinine (SCr) is still routinely used for assessing AKI, it is known to be insensitive and nonspecific. Therefore, our objective was to evaluate kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1) in conjunction with microRNA (miR)-21, -200c, and -423 as urinary biomarkers for drug-induced AKI in humans. In a cross-sectional cohort of patients (n = 135) with acetaminophen (APAP) overdose, all 4 biomarkers were significantly (P < .004) higher not only in APAP-overdosed (OD) patients with AKI (based on SCr increase) but also in APAP-OD patients without clinical diagnosis of AKI compared with healthy volunteers. In a longitudinal cohort of patients with malignant mesothelioma receiving intraoperative cisplatin (Cp) therapy (n = 108) the 4 biomarkers increased significantly (P < .0014) over time after Cp administration, but could not be used to distinguish patients with or without AKI. Evidence for human proximal tubular epithelial cells (HPTECs) being the source of miRNAs in urine was obtained first, by in situ hybridization based confirmation of increase in miR-21 expression in the kidney sections of AKI patients and second, by increased levels of miR-21, -200c, and -423 in the medium of cultured HPTECs treated with Cp and 4-aminophenol (APAP degradation product). Target prediction analysis revealed 1102 mRNA targets of miR-21, -200c, and -423 that are associated with pathways perturbed in diverse pathological kidney conditions. In summary, we report noninvasive detection of AKI in humans by combining the sensitivity of KIM-1 along with mechanistic potentials of miR-21, -200c, and -423.
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
The adult kidney plays a central role in erythropoiesis and is the main source of erythropoietin (EPO), an oxygen-sensitive glycoprotein that is essential for red blood cell production. Decreases of renal pO2 promote hypoxia-inducible factor 2-mediated (HIF-2-mediated) induction of EPO in peritubular interstitial fibroblast-like cells, which serve as the cellular site of EPO synthesis in the kidney. It is not clear whether HIF signaling in other renal cell types also contributes to the regulation of EPO production. Here, we used a genetic approach in mice to investigate the role of renal epithelial HIF in erythropoiesis. Specifically, we found that HIF activation in the proximal nephron via induced inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor, which targets the HIF-α subunit for proteasomal degradation, led to rapid development of hypoproliferative anemia that was associated with a reduction in the number of EPO-producing renal interstitial cells. Moreover, suppression of renal EPO production was associated with increased glucose uptake, enhanced glycolysis, reduced mitochondrial mass, diminished O2 consumption, and elevated renal tissue pO2. Our genetic analysis suggests that tubulointerstitial cellular crosstalk modulates renal EPO production under conditions of epithelial HIF activation in the kidney.
Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) play key roles in regulating the response to renal injury but are thought to mediate divergent effects on cell behavior. However, how TGF-β signaling alters the response to HGF in epithelia, the key site of HGF signaling in the injured kidney, is not well studied. Contrary to our expectation, we showed that deletion of the TGF-β type II receptor in conditionally immortalized proximal tubule (PT) cells impaired HGF-dependent signaling. This reduced signaling was due to decreased transcription of c-Met, the HGF receptor, and the TGF-β-dependent c-Met transcription and increased response to HGF in PT cells were mediated by the Notch pathway. The interactions of TGF-β, HGF, and Notch pathways had biologically significant effects on branching morphogenesis, cell morphology, migration, and proliferation. In conclusion, epithelial TGF-β signaling promotes HGF signaling in a Notch-dependent pathway. These findings suggest that TGF-β modulates PT responses not only by direct effects, but also by affecting other growth factor signaling pathways.