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Am J Physiol. 1997 Jan;272(1 Pt 2):F117-23.

Gentamicin inhibits rat renal cortical homotypic endosomal fusion: role of megalin.

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Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orelans, Louisiana, USA.


Megalin, a giant glycoprotein receptor heavily concentrated in the early endosomal pathway of renal proximal tubular cells, binds gentamicin with high affinity and delivers the drug to lysosomes. Utilizing an in vitro reconstitution assay we tested whether gentamicin-induced vacuolation is associated with inhibition of early endosomal fusion, as well as whether megalin plays a role in mediating these effects. Pretreatment of rats with gentamicin inhibited rat renal proximal tubular homotypic endosomal fusion. Administered simultaneously, gentamicin and polymers of polyaspartic acid, which protect against the hemodynamic effects of gentamicin nephrotoxicity, had no net effect on fusion. Polyaspartic acid alone had no effect on fusion. Antisera to the tail of the megalin/gentamicin receptor inhibited fusion, whereas non-specific controls had no effect. Peptides matching homologous NPXY repeat sequence motifs in the cytosolic tail stimulated endosomal fusion, whereas reverse sequence control peptides had no effect. These data suggest that gentamicin inhibition of endosomal fusion in the renal proximal tubule is a damage mechanism mediated by specific peptide sequences in the cytosolic tail of the giant gentamicin-binding receptor megalin and that receptors can effect the fusion properties of membranes in which they reside.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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