Ischemia activates actin depolymerizing factor: Role in proximal tubule microvillar actin alterations

Niles Schwartz, Melanie Hosford, Ruben M. Sandoval, Mark C. Wagner, Simon J. Atkinson, James Bamburg, Bruce A. Molitoris

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79 Scopus citations


Apical membrane of renal proximal tubule cells is extremely sensitive to ischemia, with structural alterations occurring within 5 min. These changes are felt secondary to actin cytoskeletal disruption, yet the mechanism responsible is unknown. Actin depolymerizing factor (ADF), a 19-kDa actin- binding protein, has recently been shown to play an important role in regulation of actin filament dynamics. Because ADF is known to mediate pH- dependent F-actin binding, depolymerization, and severing, and because ADF activation occurs by dephosphorylation, we questioned whether ADF played a role in microvilli microfilament disruption during ischemia. To test our hypothesis, we induced renal ischemia in the rat with the clamp model. Initial immunofluorescence and Western blot studies on cortical tissue documented the presence of ADF in proximal tubule cells. Under physiological conditions, ADF was distributed homogeneously throughout the cytoplasm, primarily in the Triton X-100-soluble fraction, and both phosphorylated (pADF) and nonphosphorylated forms were identified. During ischemia, marked alterations occurred. Intraluminal vesicle/bleb structures contained extremely high concentrations of ADF along with G-actin, but not F-actin. Western blot showed a rapidly occurring duration-dependent dephosphorylation of ADF. At 0-30 min of ischemia, total ADF levels were unchanged, whereas pADF decreased significantly to 72% and 19% of control levels, at 5 and 15 min, respectively. Urine collected under physiological conditions did not contain ADF or actin, whereas urine collected after 30 min of ischemia contained both ADF and actin. Reperfusion was associated with normalization of cellular pADF levels, pADF intracellular distribution, and repair of apical microvilli. These data suggest that activation of ADF during ischemia via dephosphorylation is, in part, responsible for apical actin disruption resulting in microvillar destruction and formation of intraluminal vesicles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F544-F551
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number4 45-4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1999


  • Actin cytoskeleton
  • Acute renal failure
  • ATP depletion
  • Cofilin
  • LIM kinase
  • Renal proximal tubule cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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