Kidney international

Crk1/2 and CrkL form a hetero-oligomer and functionally complement each other during podocyte morphogenesis.

PMID 24499776


Activation of the slit diaphragm protein nephrin induces actin cytoskeletal remodeling, resulting in lamellipodia formation in podocytes in vitro in a phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase-, focal adhesion kinase-, Cas-, and Crk1/2-dependent fashion. In mice, podocyte-specific deletion of Crk1/2 prevents or attenuates foot process effacement in two models of podocyte injury. This suggests that cellular mechanisms governing lamellipodial protrusion in vitro are similar to those in vivo during foot process effacement. As Crk1/2-null mice developed and aged normally, we tested whether the Crk1/2 paralog, CrkL, functionally complements Crk1/2 in a podocyte-specific context. Podocyte-specific CrkL-null mice, like podocyte-specific Crk1/2-null mice, developed and aged normally but were protected from protamine sulfate-induced foot process effacement. Simultaneous podocyte-specific deletion of Crk1/2 and CrkL resulted in albuminuria detected by 6 weeks postpartum and associated with altered podocyte process architecture. Nephrin-induced lamellipodia formation in podocytes in vitro was CrkL-dependent. CrkL formed a hetero-oligomer with Crk2 and, like Crk2, was recruited to tyrosine phosphorylated nephrin. Thus, Crk1/2 and CrkL are physically linked, functionally complement each other during podocyte foot process spreading, and together are required for developing typical foot process architecture.