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The highly conserved spalt (sal) gene family members encode proteins characterized by multiple double zinc finger motifs of the C2H2 type. Humans and mice each have four known Sal-like genes (SALL1-4 in humans and Sall1-4 in mice). Sall1 is known to have a crucial role in kidney development. To explore the significance of Sall1 in differentiated podocytes, we investigated podocyte-specific Sall1-deficient mice (Sall1 KOp°d°/p°d°) using a podocin-Cre/loxP system and siRNA Sall1 knockdown (Sall1 KD) podocytes. Under physiological conditions, Sall1 KOp°d°/p°d° mice exhibited no proteinuria during their lifetime, but foot-process effacement was detected in some of the podocytes. To elucidate the role of Sall1 in injured podocytes, we used an adriamycin (ADR)-induced model of nephrosis and glomerulosclerosis. Surprisingly, the expression of Sall1 was elevated in control mice on day 14 after ADR injection. On day 28 after ADR injection, Sall1 KOp°d°/p°d° mice exhibited significantly higher levels of proteinuria and higher numbers of sclerotic glomeruli. Differentiated Sall1 KD podocytes showed a loss of synaptopodin, suppressed stress fiber formation, and, ultimately, impaired directed cell migration. In addition, the loss of Sall1 increased the number of apoptotic podocytes following ADR treatment. These results indicated that Sall1 has a protective role in podocytes; thus, we investigated the endoplasmic reticulum stress marker GRP78. GRP78 expression was higher in ADR-treated Sall1 KOp°d°/p°d° mice than in control mice. Sall1 appeared to influence the expression of GRP78 in injured podocytes. These results suggest that Sall1 is associated with actin reorganization, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and apoptosis in injured podocytes. These protective aspects of Sall1 re-expression in injured podocytes may have the potential to reduce apoptosis and possibly glomerulosclerosis.

Citation

Yoshiko Hosoe-Nagai, Teruo Hidaka, Ayano Sonoda, Yu Sasaki, Kanae Yamamoto-Nonaka, Takuto Seki, Rin Asao, Eriko Tanaka, Juan Alejandro Oliva Trejo, Fumiko Kodama, Miyuki Takagi, Nobuhiro Tada, Takashi Ueno, Ryuichi Nishinakamura, Yasuhiko Tomino, Katsuhiko Asanuma. Re-expression of Sall1 in podocytes protects against adriamycin-induced nephrosis. Laboratory investigation; a journal of technical methods and pathology. 2017 Nov;97(11):1306-1320

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PMID: 28759006

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