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Am J Pathol. 2011 Dec;179(6):2766-78. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.08.025. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Focal adhesion kinase signaling mediates acute renal injury induced by ischemia/reperfusion.

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Division of Toxicology, Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Renal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is associated with cell matrix and focal adhesion remodeling. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinase that localizes at focal adhesions and regulates their turnover. Here, we investigated the role of FAK in renal I/R injury, using a novel conditional proximal tubule-specific fak-deletion mouse model. Tamoxifen treatment of FAK(loxP/loxP)//γGT-Cre-ER(T2) mice caused renal-specific fak recombination (FAK(ΔloxP/ΔloxP)) and reduction of FAK expression in proximal tubules. In FAK(ΔloxP/ΔloxP) mice compared with FAK(loxP/loxP) controls, unilateral renal ischemia followed by reperfusion resulted in less tubular damage with reduced tubular cell proliferation and lower expression of kidney injury molecule-1, which was independent from the postischemic inflammatory response. Oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiology of I/R injury. Primary cultured mouse renal cells were used to study the role of FAK deficiency for oxidative stress in vitro. The conditional fak deletion did not affect cell survival after hydrogen peroxide-induced cellular stress, whereas it impaired the recovery of focal adhesions that were disrupted by hydrogen peroxide. This was associated with reduced c-Jun N-terminal kinase-dependent phosphorylation of paxillin at serine 178 in FAK-deficient cells, which is required for focal adhesion turnover. Our findings support a role for FAK as a novel factor in the initiation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase-mediated cellular stress response during renal I/R injury and suggest FAK as a target in renal injury protection.

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