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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54239. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054239. Epub 2013 Jan 23.

Crucial roles of the protein kinases MK2 and MK3 in a mouse model of glomerulonephritis.

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1
Center for Clinical and Translational Research, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, United States of America.

Abstract

Elevated mitogen-activated protein kinase p38 (p38 MAPK) signaling has been implicated in various experimental and human glomerulopathies, and its inhibition has proven beneficial in animal models of these diseases. p38 MAPK signaling is partially mediated through MK2 and MK3, two phylogenetically related protein kinases that are its direct substrates. The current study was designed to determine the specific roles of MK2 and MK3 in a mouse model of acute proliferative glomerulonephritis, using mice with disrupted MK2 and/or MK3 genes. We found that the absence of MK3 alone worsened the disease course and increased mortality slightly compared to wild-type mice, whereas the absence of MK2 alone exhibited no significant effect. However, in an MK3-free background, the disease course depended on the presence of MK2 in a gene dosage-dependent manner, with double knock-out mice being most susceptible to disease induction. Histological and renal functional analyses confirmed kidney damage following disease induction. Because the renal stress response plays a crucial role in kidney physiology and disease, we analyzed the stress response pattern in this disease model. We found that renal cortices of diseased mice exhibited a pronounced and specific pattern of expression and/or phosphorylation of stress proteins and other indicators of the stress response (HSPB1, HSPB6, HSPB8, CHOP, eIF2α), partially in a MK2/MK3 genotype-specific manner, and without induction of a general stress response. Similarly, the expression and activation patterns of other protein kinases downstream of p38 MAPK (MNK1, MSK1) depended partially on the MK2/MK3 genotype in this disease model. In conclusion, MK2 and MK3 together play crucial roles in the regulation of the renal stress response and in the development of glomerulonephritis, which can potentially be exploited to develop novel therapeutic approaches to treat glomerular disease.

PMID:
23372691
PMCID:
PMC3553169
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0054239
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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