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Receptor-mediated endocytosis, involving megalin and cubilin, mediates renal proximal-tubular reabsorption and is decreased in Dent disease because of mutations of the chloride/proton antiporter, chloride channel-5 (CLC-5), resulting in low-molecular-weight proteinuria, hypercalciuria, nephrolithiasis, and renal failure. To facilitate studies of receptor-mediated endocytosis and the role of CLC-5, we established conditionally immortalized proximal-tubular epithelial cell lines (ciPTECs) from three patients with CLC-5 mutations (30:insH, R637X, and del132-241) and a normal male. Confocal microscopy using the tight junction marker zona occludens-1 (ZO-1) and end-binding protein-1 (EB-1), which is specific for the plus end of microtubules demonstrated that the ciPTECs polarized. Receptor-mediated endocytic uptake of fluorescent albumin and transferrin in 30:insH and R637X ciPTECs was significantly decreased, compared with normal ciPTECs, and could be further reduced by competition with 10-fold excess of unlabeled albumin and transferrin, whereas in the del132-241 ciPTEC, receptor-mediated endocytic uptake was abolished. Investigation of endosomal acidification by live-cell imaging of pHluorin-VAMP2 (vesicle-associated membrane protein-2), a pH-sensitive-GFP construct, revealed that the endosomal pH in normal and 30:insH ciPTECs was similar, whereas in del132-241 and R637X ciPTECs, it was significantly more alkaline, indicating defective acidification in these ciPTECs. The addition of bafilomycin-A1, a V-ATPase inhibitor, raised the pH significantly in all ciPTECs, demonstrating that the differences in acidification were not due to alterations in the V-ATPase, but instead to abnormalities of CLC-5. Thus, our studies, which have established human Dent disease ciPTECs that will facilitate studies of mechanisms in renal reabsorption, demonstrate that Dent disease-causing CLC-5 mutations have differing effects on endosomal acidification and receptor-mediated endocytosis that may not be coupled.


Caroline M Gorvin, Martijn J Wilmer, Sian E Piret, Brian Harding, Lambertus P van den Heuvel, Oliver Wrong, Parmjit S Jat, Jonathan D Lippiat, Elena N Levtchenko, Rajesh V Thakker. Receptor-mediated endocytosis and endosomal acidification is impaired in proximal tubule epithelial cells of Dent disease patients. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2013 Apr 23;110(17):7014-9

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PMID: 23572577

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