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PACS-2 Ameliorates Tubular Injury by Facilitating Endoplasmic Reticulum-Mitochondria Contact and Mitophagy in Diabetic Nephropathy

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posted on 08.02.2022, 16:25 by Chenrui Li, Li Li, Ming Yang, Jinfei Yang, Chanyue Zhao, Yachun Han, Hao Zhao, Na Jiang, Ling Wei, Ying Xiao, Yan Liu, Xiaofen Xiong, Yiyun Xi, Shilu Luo, Fei Deng, Wei Chen, Shuguang Yuan, Xuejing Zhu, Li Xiao, Lin Sun
Mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum membrane (MAM) is emerging as a novel insight into tubular injury in diabetic nephropathy (DN), but the precise mechanism remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the expression of phosphofurin acidic cluster sorting protein 2 (PACS-2), a critical regulator of MAM formation, is significantly decreased in renal tubules of patients with DN, which is positively correlated with renal function and negatively correlated with degrees of tubulointerstitial lesions. Conditional deletion of Pacs-2 in proximal tubules (PT) aggravates albuminuria and tubular injury in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice. Mitochondrial fragmentation, MAM disruption and defective mitophagy accompanied by altered expression of mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagic protein including DRP1 and BECN1 are observed in tubules from diabetic mice, while these changes are more pronounced in PT-specific Pacs-2 knockout mice. In vitro, overexpression of PACS-2 in HK-2 cells alleviates excessive mitochondrial fission induced by high glucose through blocking mitochondrial recruitment of DRP1, and subsequently restores MAM integrity and enhances mitophagy. Mechanistically, PACS-2 binds to BECN1 and mediates the relocalization of BECN1 to MAM where it promotes the formation of mitophagosome. Together, these data highlight an important but previously unrecognized role of PACS-2 in ameliorating tubular injury in DN by facilitating MAM formation and mitophagy.


This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81730018) and the National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2018YFC1314002).