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Eur J Cell Biol. 1989 Apr;48(2):313-26.

Biogenesis of podocalyxin--the major glomerular sialoglycoprotein--in the newborn rat kidney.

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Department of Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510-8002.


The appearance and distribution of podocalyxin on the glomerular epithelium (podocytes) during glomerular development was determined in the newborn rat kidney using specific monoclonal and affinity-purified polyclonal antibodies. Kidneys from 2-day-old rats were perfusion-fixed and processed for immunofluorescence or immunoperoxidase localization or immunogold labeling on ultrathin frozen sections. Podocalyxin first appeared on the apical surfaces of the presumptive podocytes of the S-shaped body above the level of the junctional complexes that connect the cells at this stage. The latter consist of a shallow occluding zonule and a deeper adhering zonule. Early in the capillary loop stage, when the urinary spaces open and the junctional complexes migrate from the apex to the base of the cells, labeling for podocalyxin extended along the lateral plasmalemma above the migrating junctions. In the maturing glomerulus when the foot processes form and the occluding and adhering junctions give way to developing slit diaphragms, podocalyxin was found along all newly-opened surfaces above the occluding junctions or slit membranes. No labeling was found below the latter. Podocalyxin was also detected intracellularly throughout the entire exocytotic pathway--i.e., in the rough endoplasmic reticulum and perinuclear cisternae, in Golgi cisternae and associated vesicles, and in carrier vesicles presumably en route to the cell surface. It is concluded that 1) podocalyxin is synthesized at a high rate in the differentiating podocyte; 2) its distribution is restricted to the apical plus lateral plasmalemmal domain facing the urinary spaces above the migrating junctions; 3) its time of appearance and distribution during glomerular development are identical to that reported earlier for epithelial polyanion; and 4) its synthesis and insertion into the podocyte plasmalemma is closely coupled to the development of the foot processes and filtration slits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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