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alpha-Actinin 4 potentiates nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B-cell (NF-kappaB) activity in podocytes independent of its cytoplasmic actin binding function.

Zhao X., Hsu K.S., Lim J.H., Bruggeman L.A., Kao H.Y.

Glomerular podocytes are highly specialized terminally differentiated cells that act as a filtration barrier in the kidney. Mutations in the actin-binding protein, α-actinin 4 (ACTN4), are linked to focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a chronic kidney disease characterized by proteinuria. Aberrant activation of NF-κB pathway in podocytes is implicated in glomerular diseases including proteinuria. We demonstrate here that stable knockdown of ACTN4 in podocytes significantly reduces TNFα-mediated induction of NF-κB target genes, including IL-1β and NPHS1, and activation of an NF-κB-driven reporter without interfering with p65 nuclear translocation. Overexpression of ACTN4 and an actin binding-defective variant increases the reporter activity. In contrast, an FSGS-linked ACTN4 mutant, K255E, which has increased actin binding activity and is predominantly cytoplasmic, fails to potentiate NF-κB activity. Mechanistically, IκBα blocks the association of ACTN4 and p65 in the cytosol. In response to TNFα, both NF-κB subunits p65 and p50 translocate to the nucleus, where they bind and recruit ACTN4 to their targeted promoters, IL-1β and IL-8. Taken together, our data identify ACTN4 as a novel coactivator for NF-κB transcription factors in podocytes. Importantly, this nuclear function of ACTN4 is independent of its actin binding activity in the cytoplasm.

J. Biol. Chem. 290:338-349(2015) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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