1. Department of Nephrology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.
2. 5th Medical Department, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, D-68167 Mannheim, Germany.
# These authors contributed equally to this work.
Rationale: Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is characterized by the dysfunction of “post-mitotic” podocytes. The reentry of podocytes in the cell cycle will ultimately result in cell death. Mitotic arrest deficient 2-like protein 2 (MAD2B), an inhibitor of anaphase-promoting complex (APC)/cyclosome, precisely controls the metaphase to anaphase transition and ordered cell cycle progression. However, the role of MAD2B in FSGS podocyte injury remains unknown.
Methods: To explore MAD2B function in podocyte cell cycle reentry, we used conditional mutant mice lacking MAD2B selectively in podocytes in ADR-induced FSGS murine model. Additionally, KU-55933, a specific inhibitor of ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) was utilized in vivo and in vitro to explore the role of ATM in regulating MAD2B.
Results: The expression of MAD2B in podocytes was dramatically increased in patients with FSGS and ADR-treated mice along with podocyte cell cycle reentry. Podocyte-specific knockout of MAD2B effectively attenuated proteinuria, podocyte injury, and prevented the aberrant cell cycle reentry. By bioinformatics analysis we revealed that ATM kinase is a key upstream regulator of MAD2B. Furthermore, inhibition of ATM kinase abolished MAD2B-driven cell cycle reentry and alleviated podocyte impairment in FSGS murine model. In vitro studies by site-directed mutagenesis and immunoprecipitation we revealed ATM phosphorylated MAD2B and consequently hampered the ubiquitination of MAD2B in a phosphorylation-dependent manner.
Conclusions: ATM kinase-MAD2B axis importantly contributes to the cell cycle reentry of podocytes, which is a novel pathogenic mechanism of FSGS, and may shed light on the development of its therapeutic approaches.
Keywords: podocyte, FSGS, cell cycle reentry, MAD2B, ATM