Author(s): Dandapani SV, Sugimoto H, Matthews BD, Kolb RJ, Sinha S,
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Abstract Mutations in the alpha-actinin-4 gene ACTN4 cause an autosomal dominant human kidney disease. Mice deficient in alpha-actinin-4 develop a recessive phenotype characterized by kidney failure, proteinuria, glomerulosclerosis, and retraction of glomerular podocyte foot processes. However, the mechanism by which alpha-actinin-4 deficiency leads to glomerular disease has not been defined. Here, we examined the effect of alpha-actinin-4 deficiency on the adhesive properties of podocytes in vivo and in a cell culture system. In alpha-actinin-4-deficient mice, we observed a decrease in the number of podocytes per glomerulus compared with wild-type mice as well as the presence of podocyte markers in the urine. Podocyte cell lines generated from alpha-actinin-4-deficient mice were less adherent than wild-type cells to glomerular basement membrane (GBM) components collagen IV and laminin 10 and 11. We also observed markedly reduced adhesion of alpha-actinin-4-deficient podocytes under increasing shear stresses. This adhesion deficit was restored by transfecting cells with alpha-actinin-4-GFP. We tested the strength of the integrin receptor-mediated linkages to the cytoskeleton by applying force to microbeads bound to integrin using magnetic pulling cytometry. Beads bound to alpha-actinin-4-deficient podocytes showed greater displacement in response to an applied force than those bound to wild-type cells. Consistent with integrin-dependent alpha-actinin-4-mediated adhesion, phosphorylation of beta1-integrins on alpha-actinin-4-deficient podocytes is reduced. We rescued the phosphorylation deficit by transfecting alpha-actinin-4 into alpha-actinin-4-deficient podocytes. These results suggest that alpha-actinin-4 interacts with integrins and strengthens the podocyte-GBM interaction thereby stabilizing glomerular architecture and preventing disease.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Hereditary Genetics: Current Research