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PTEN alleviates maladaptive repair of renal tubular epithelial cells by restoring CHMP2A-mediated phagosome closure.

Cell death & disease (2021-11-19)
Huizhen Wang, Yifan Wang, Xin Wang, Huimi Huang, Jingfu Bao, Wenhui Zhong, Aiqing Li

Phosphatase and Tensin Homolog on chromosome Ten (PTEN) has emerged as a key protein that governs the response to kidney injury. Notably, renal adaptive repair is important for preventing acute kidney injury (AKI) to chronic kidney disease (CKD) transition. To test the role of PTEN in renal repair after acute injury, we constructed a mouse model that overexpresses PTEN in renal proximal tubular cells (RPTC) by crossing PTENfl-stop-fl mice with Ggt1-Cre mice. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics was performed after subjecting these mice to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). We found that PTEN was downregulated in renal tubular cells in mice and cultured HK-2 cells subjected to renal maladaptive repair induced by I/R. Renal expression of PTEN negatively correlated with NGAL and fibrotic markers. RPTC-specific PTEN overexpression relieved I/R-induced maladaptive repair, as indicated by alleviative tubular cell damage, apoptosis, and subsequent renal fibrosis. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that differentially expressed proteins in RPTC-specific PTEN overexpression mice subjected to I/R were significantly enriched in phagosome, PI3K/Akt, and HIF-1 signaling pathway and found significant upregulation of CHMP2A, an autophagy-related protein. PTEN deficiency downregulated CHMP2A and inhibited phagosome closure and autolysosome formation, which aggravated cell injury and apoptosis after I/R. PTEN overexpression had the opposite effect. Notably, the beneficial effect of PTEN overexpression on autophagy flux and cell damage was abolished when CHMP2A was silenced. Collectively, our study suggests that PTEN relieved renal maladaptive repair in terms of cell damage, apoptosis, and renal fibrosis by upregulating CHMP2A-mediated phagosome closure, suggesting that PTEN/CHMP2A may serve as a novel therapeutic target for the AKI to CKD transition.

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