Diabetic nephropathy is a complication of diabetes and a major cause of end-stage renal disease. To characterize the early pathophysiological mechanisms leading to glomerular podocyte injury in diabetic nephropathy, we performed quantitative proteomic profiling of glomeruli isolated from rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes and controls. Fluorescence-based two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis, coupled with mass spectrometry, identified 29 differentially expressed spots, including actin-binding protein ezrin and its interaction partner, NHERF2, which were down-regulated in the streptozotocin group. Knockdown of ezrin by siRNA in cultured podocytes increased glucose uptake compared with control siRNA-transfected cells, apparently by increasing translocation of glucose transporter GLUT1 to the plasma membrane. Knockdown of ezrin also induced actin remodeling under basal conditions, but reduced insulin-stimulated actin reorganization. Ezrin-dependent actin remodeling involved cofilin-1 that is essential for the turnover and reorganization of actin filaments. Phosphorylated, inactive cofilin-1 was up-regulated in diabetic glomeruli, suggesting altered actin dynamics. Furthermore, IHC analysis revealed reduced expression of ezrin in the podocytes of patients with diabetes. Our findings suggest that ezrin may play a role in the development of the renal complication in diabetes by regulating transport of glucose and organization of the actin cytoskeleton in podocytes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine