PKC-δ promotes renal tubular cell apoptosis associated with proteinuria

Xiaoning Li, Navjotsingh Pabla, Qingqing Wei, Guie Dong, Robert O. Messing, Cong Yi Wang, Zheng Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Proteinuria may contribute to progressive renal damage by inducing tubulointerstitial inflammation, fibrosis, and tubular cell injury and death, but the mechanisms underlying these pathologic changes remain largely unknown. Here, in a rat kidney proximal tubular cell line (RPTC), albumin induced apoptosis in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Caspase activation accompanied albumin-induced apoptosis, and general caspase inhibitors could suppress this activation. In addition, Bcl-2 transfection inhibited apoptosis and attenuated albumin-induced Bax translocation to mitochondria and cytochrome c release from the organelles, further confirming a role for the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis in albuminuria-associated tubular apoptosis. We observed phosphorylation and activation of PKC-δ early during treatment of RPTC cells with albumin. Rottlerin, a pharmacologic inhibitor of PKC-δ, suppressed albumin-induced Bax translocation, cytochrome c release, and apoptosis. Moreover, a dominant-negative mutant of PKC-δ blocked albumin-induced apoptosis in RPTC cells. In vivo, we observed activated PKC-δ in proteinuric kidneys of streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice and in kidneys after direct albumin overload. Notably, albumin overload induced apoptosis in renal tubules, which was less severe in PKC-δ-knockout mice. Taken together, these results suggest that activation of PKC-δ promotes tubular cell injury and death during albuminuria, broadening our understanding of the pathogenesis of progressive proteinuric kidney diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1115-1124
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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