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    Podocytes are essential for the function of the kidney glomerular filter. A highly differentiated cytoskeleton is requisite for their integrity. Although much knowledge has been gained on the organization of cortical actin networks in podocyte's foot processes, less is known about the molecular organization of the microtubular cytoskeleton in primary processes and the cell body. To gain an insight into the organization of the microtubular cytoskeleton of the podocyte, we systematically analyzed the expression of microtubule associated proteins (Maps), a family of microtubules interacting proteins with known functions as regulator, scaffold and guidance proteins. We identified microtubule associated protein 1b (MAP1B) to be specifically enriched in podocytes in human and rodent kidney. Using immunogold labeling in electron microscopy, we were able to demonstrate an enrichment of MAP1B in primary processes. A similar association of MAP1B with the microtubule cytoskeleton was detected in cultured podocytes. Subcellular distribution of MAP1B HC and LC1 was analyzed using a double fluorescent reporter MAP1B fusion protein. Subsequently we analyzed mice constitutively depleted of MAP1B. Interestingly, MAP1B KO was not associated with any functional or structural alterations pointing towards a redundancy of MAP proteins in podocytes. In summary, we established MAP1B as a specific marker protein of the podocyte microtubular cytoskeleton.


    Markus Gödel, Dunja Temerinac, Florian Grahammer, Björn Hartleben, Oliver Kretz, Beat M Riederer, Friedrich Propst, Stefan Kohl, Tobias B Huber. Microtubule Associated Protein 1b (MAP1B) Is a Marker of the Microtubular Cytoskeleton in Podocytes but Is Not Essential for the Function of the Kidney Filtration Barrier in Mice. PloS one. 2015;10(10):e0140116

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    PMID: 26448484

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