Regulation of vascular permeability factor/vascular endothelial growth factor (VPF/VEGF-A) expression in podocytes.
BACKGROUND: Vascular permeability factor/vascular endothelial growth factor (VPF/VEGF-A) is expressed constitutively in the adult glomerular podocytes at high levels; however, the regulation of its production is unclear. Recent data from podocyte-specific knockout mice suggest that VPF/VEGF-A is critical for the proper maintenance of glomerular filtration barrier and the glomerular endothelial fenestrae. We hypothesized that the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) matrix-podocyte interaction may play a role in the constitutive expression of VPF/VEGF-A in the adult glomerulus. METHODS: VPF/VEGF-A mRNA levels in a human podocyte cell line grown in the presence of various extracellular matrices were quantitated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) experiments. VPF/VEGF-A protein levels in the culture supernatant from the same conditions were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Promoter activity of VPF/VEGF-A gene in these cells was performed by transfecting full length (2.6 kb) VPF/VEGF-A promoter, which is fused with luciferase reporter gene. Immunoprecipitation and Western blot experiments were carried out in order to detect the association of hypoxia-inducible factor-alpha (HIF-alpha) and p300 in podocyte cells. RESULTS: In this study, we provide preliminary evidence that signaling through the extracellular matrix proteins and, in particular, laminin and its receptor alpha(3)beta(1) integrin may regulate VPF/VEGF-A production in cultured podocytes in vitro. We also present data that increased activity of the transcription factor HIF-alphas in podocyte is not related to hypoxia and may lead to up-regulation of VPF/VEGF-A transcription. The classical type protein kinase C (PKC) may be a potential intermediate signaling molecule in this event. CONCLUSION: These data suggest a novel nonhypoxic regulation of VPF/VEGF-A production in the glomerulus of the kidney during physiologic states. These observations may form the basis of more elaborate studies that will finally provide the detailed signaling pathway for VPF/VEGF-A synthesis in podocytes and will help our understanding of the pathogenesis of various VPF/VEGF-A-related diseases in the glomerulus of the kidney.
Datta, K; Li, J; Karumanchi, SA; Wang, E; Rondeau, E; Mukhopadhyay, D
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