Dephosphorylation of ezrin as an early event in renal microvillar breakdown and anoxic injury.
Disruption of the renal proximal tubule (PT) brush border is a prominent early event during ischemic injury to the kidney. The molecular basis for this event is unknown. Within the brush border, ezrin may normally link the cytoskeleton to the cell plasma membrane. Anoxia causes ezrin to dissociate from the cytoskeleton and also causes many cell proteins to become dephosphorylated in renal PTs. This study examines the hypothesis that ezrin dephosphorylation accompanies and may mediate the anoxic disruption of the rabbit renal PT. During normoxia, 73 +/- 3% of the cytoskeleton-associated (Triton-insoluble) ezrin was phosphorylated, but 88 +/- 6% of dissociated (Triton-soluble) ezrin was dephosphorylated. Phosphorylation was on serine/threonine resides, since ezrin was not detectable by an antibody against phosphotyrosine. After 60 min of anoxia, phosphorylation of total intracellular ezrin significantly decreased from 72 +/- 2% to 21 +/- 9%, and ezrin associated with the cytoskeleton decreased from 91 +/- 2% to 58 +/- 2%. Calyculin A (1 microM), the serine/threonine phosphatase inhibitor, inhibited the dephosphorylation of ezrin during anoxia by 57% and also blocked the dissociation of ezrin from the cytoskeleton by 53%. Our results demonstrate that (i) the association of ezrin with the renal microvillar cytoskeleton is correlated with phosphorylation of ezrin serine/threonine residues and (ii) anoxia may cause disruption of the renal brush border by dephosphorylating ezrin and thereby dissociating the brush border membrane from the cytoskeleton.
Chen, J; Cohn, JA; Mandel, LJ
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