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Hum Mol Genet. 2009 Dec 15;18(24):4711-23. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddp434. Epub 2009 Sep 14.

Nephrocystin-1 and nephrocystin-4 are required for epithelial morphogenesis and associate with PALS1/PATJ and Par6.

Author information

1
INSERM, U-574, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France.

Abstract

Nephronophthisis (NPH) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by renal fibrosis, tubular basement membrane disruption and corticomedullary cyst formation leading to end-stage renal failure. The disease is caused by mutations in NPHP1-9 genes, which encode the nephrocystins, proteins localized to cell-cell junctions and centrosome/primary cilia. Here, we show that nephrocystin mRNA expression is dramatically increased during cell polarization, and shRNA-mediated knockdown of either NPHP1 or NPHP4 in MDCK cells resulted in delayed tight junction (TJ) formation, abnormal cilia formation and disorganized multi-lumen structures when grown in a three-dimensional collagen matrix. Some of these phenotypes are similar to those reported for cells depleted of the TJ proteins PALS1 or Par3, and interestingly, we demonstrate a physical interaction between these nephrocystins and PALS1 as well as their partners PATJ and Par6 and show their partial co-localization in human renal tubules. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the nephrocystins play an essential role in epithelial cell organization, suggesting a plausible mechanism by which the in vivo histopathologic features of NPH might develop.

PMID:
19755384
PMCID:
PMC2778369
DOI:
10.1093/hmg/ddp434
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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