Mis-regulation of mTOR complexes induced by albuminuria in proximal tubules [Signal Transduction]

May 1st, 2014 by de Barros Peruchetti, D., Cheng, J., Caruso-Neves, C., Guggino, W. B.

High albumin concentrations in the proximal tubule of the kidney causes tubulointerstitial injury, but how this process occurs is not completely known. To address the signal transduction pathways mis-regulated in renal injury, we studied the modulation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complexes by physiologic and pathophysiologic albumin concentrations in proximal tubule cells. Physiologic albumin concentrations activated the PI-3K/mTORC2/PKB/mTORC1/S6 kinase (S6K) pathway, but pathophysiologically high albumin concentrations overactivated mTORC1 and inhibited mTORC2 activity. This control process involved the activation of ERK1/2, which promoted the inhibition of TSC2 and activation of S6K. Furthermore, S6K was crucial to promoting the over activation of mTORC1 and inhibition of mTORC2. Megalin expression at the luminal membrane is reduced by high concentrations of albumin. In addition, knockdown of megalin mimicked all the effects of pathophysiologic albumin concentrations, which disrupt normal signal transduction pathways and lead to an over activation of mTORC1 and inhibition of mTORC2. These data provide new perspectives for understanding the molecular mechanisms behind the effects of albumin on the progression of renal disease.