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Increased cathepsin D-like activity in cortex, tubules, and glomeruli isolated from rats with experimental nephrotic syndrome.

By W H Baricos and S V Shah


We have examined the activity and distribution of cathepsin D (EC, a major renal lysosomal endoproteinase, in the various anatomical and functional areas of normal rat kidney. Cathepsin D-like activities (delta A280/h per mg of protein) in normal rat tissues were: cortex, 0.78 +/- 0.05, n = 37; medulla, 0.62 +/- 0.03, n = 12; papilla, 0.63 +/- 0.04, n = 12; tubules, 0.74 +/- 0.04, n = 28; glomeruli, 0.59 +/- 0.03, n = 28; and liver, 0.41 +/- 0.02, n = 28. Enzyme activity was maximal at pH 3.0-3.5 and inhibited more than 90% by pepstatin (6.7 micrograms/ml), suggesting that the enzyme is cathepsin D. In subsequent experiments we measured cathepsin D-like activity in cortex, tubules and glomeruli isolated from rats with puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN)-induced nephrotic syndrome. Treated animals (15 mg of PAN/100g body wt., intraperitoneally) developed proteinuria beginning 4 days after injection and exceeding 900 mg/24h on day 9. In two separate experiments involving 52 animals we observed a significant increase in cathepsin D-like activity in cortex (+82.7%), tubules (+109.6%) and glomeruli (+54.7%) isolated from PAN-treated rats killed during marked proteinuria (day 9, mean total urinary protein excretion: 937 +/- 94 mg/24h). This increase was observed whether the activity was expressed per mg of DNA or per mg of protein. Increased cathepsin D-like activity was first observed in cortex and tubules coincident with the onset of proteinurea (day 4, mean total urinary protein excretion: 112 +/- 23 mg/24h). In contrast with the significant elevation of renal cathepsin D-like activity, the activity (nmol/h per mg of protein) of alpha-L-fucosidase (EC, a non-proteolytic enzyme, was markedly decreased in the identical samples used for the measurement of cathepsin D-like activity: cortex (-46.4%); tubules (-46.1%); and glomeruli (-38.5%). In addition to changes in renal enzyme activities, PAN-treated rats excreted large amounts of cathepsin D-like activity in their urine (beginning on day 3) compared with nearly undetectable cathepsin D-like activity in the urine from control rats. The significant increases in glomerular and tubular cathepsin D activity may reflect an important role for this enzyme in the pathophysiology associated with PAN-induced nephrotic syndrome

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1984
DOI identifier: 10.1042/bj2230393
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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