Scientific reports

Glycolysis, but not Mitochondria, responsible for intracellular ATP distribution in cortical area of podocytes.

PMID 26677804


Differentiated podocytes, a type of renal glomerular cells, require substantial levels of energy to maintain glomerular physiology. Mitochondria and glycolysis are two major producers of ATP, but the precise roles of each in podocytes remain unknown. This study evaluated the roles of mitochondria and glycolysis in differentiated and differentiating podocytes. Mitochondria in differentiated podocytes are located in the central part of cell body while blocking mitochondria had minor effects on cell shape and migratory ability. In contrast, blocking glycolysis significantly reduced the formation of lamellipodia, a cortical area of these cells, decreased the cell migratory ability and induced the apoptosis. Consistently, the local ATP production in lamellipodia was predominantly regulated by glycolysis. In turn, synaptopodin expression was ameliorated by blocking either mitochondrial respiration or glycolysis. Similar to differentiated podocytes, the differentiating podocytes utilized the glycolysis for regulating apoptosis and lamellipodia formation while synaptopodin expression was likely involved in both mitochondrial OXPHOS and glycolysis. Finally, adult mouse podocytes have most of mitochondria predominantly in the center of the cytosol whereas phosphofructokinase, a rate limiting enzyme for glycolysis, was expressed in foot processes. These data suggest that mitochondria and glycolysis play parallel but distinct roles in differentiated and differentiating podocytes.