The expression level of class III phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase controls the degree of compensatory nephron hypertrophy

Ting Liu, Caihong Dai, Jinxian Xu, Shude Li, Jian Kang Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Excessive compensatory nephron hypertrophy (CNH) has been implicated in setting the stage for progressive nephron damage. Lack of a class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (Pik3c3) inhibitor suitable for using in animals and lack of a Pik3c3-deficient animal model preclude the possibility of conclusively defining a role for Pik3c3 in CNH in previous studies. Here, we report that insertion of an Frt-flanked PGK-Neo cassette into intron 19 of the mouse Pik3c3 gene resulted in a hypomorphic allele. This allowed us to create a unique mouse model and provide the first definitive genetic evidence demonstrating whether Pik3c3 is essential for the regulation of CNH. Our results indicate that homozygous Pik3c3 hypomorphic (Pik3c3Hypo/Hypo) mice express significantly low levels of Pik3c3 than heterozygous Pik3c3 hypomorphic (Pik3c3Hypo/WT) littermates, which already express a lower level of Pik3c3 than wild-type (Pik3c3WT/WT) littermates. Interestingly, after unilateral nephrectomy (UNX), Pik3c3Hypo/Hypo mice develop a significantly lower degree of CNH than Pik3c3WT/WT mice and Pik3c3Hypo/WT mice, as revealed by measurement of kidney weight, kidney-to-body weight ratio, renal protein-to-DNA ratio, and morphometric analysis of proximal tubular and glomerular size. Mechanistically, UNX-induced mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling to phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) in the remaining kidney was markedly inhibited in Pik3c3 hypomorphic mice. In conclusion, the present study reports a Pik3c3 hypomorphic mouse model and provides the first definitive evidence that Pik3c3 controls the degree of compensatory nephron hypertrophy. In addition, our signaling data provide the first definitive in vivo proof that Pik3c3 functions upstream of the mTORC1-S6 kinase 1-rpS6 pathway in the regulation of compensatory nephron hypertrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F628-F638
JournalAmerican journal of physiology. Renal physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • class III phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase
  • compensatory nephron hypertrophy
  • mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1
  • ribosomal protein S6 phosphorylation
  • unilateral nephrectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology


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