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J Am Soc Nephrol. 1999 Aug;10(8):1737-45.

Developmental expression of protein phosphatase 2A in the kidney.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville 22908, USA.


Although a number of growth and transcription factors are known to regulate renal growth and development, the signal transduction molecules necessary to mediate these developmental signals are relatively unknown. Therefore, the activity and mRNA and protein expression of the signal transduction molecule protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) were examined during rat kidney development. Northern analysis of total kidney RNA or Western analysis of kidney protein homogenates from embryonic day 15 to 90-d-old adults demonstrated developmental regulation of the catalytic, major 55-kD B regulatory subunit and A structural subunit with the highest levels of expression in late embryonic and newborn kidneys. Similarly, okadaic acid-inhibitable phosphatase enzyme activity was highest in the embryonic and newborn kidney. To map cell-specific expression of PP2A in the developing kidney, in situ hybridization with a catalytic subunit digoxigenin-labeled cRNA was performed on embryonic day 20 and newborn kidneys. PP2A was found predominately in the nephrogenic cortex and particularly in the developing glomeruli and non-brush border tubules in the embryonic day 20 and newborn kidneys. Similarly, immunocytochemistry with a specific PP2A catalytic subunit polyclonal anti-peptide antibody demonstrated catalytic subunit protein particularly concentrated in the podocytes of glomeruli in the newborn kidney. In the adult kidney, PP2A protein was no longer detectable except in the nuclei of distal tubular cells. Therefore, the developmental regulation of PP2A activity and protein during kidney development and its mapping to the nephrogenic cortex, developing glomeruli, and tubules suggests a role for PP2A in the regulation of nephron growth and differentiation.

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