BACKGROUND: Nephropathic cystinosis is a lysosomal storage disease that is caused by mutations in the CTNS gene encoding a cystine/proton symporter cystinosin and an isoform cystinosin-LKG which is generated by an alternative splicing of exon 12. We have investigated the physiological role of the cystinosin-LKG that is widely expressed in epithelial tissues.
METHODS: We have analyzed the intracellular localization and the function of the cystinosin-LKG conjugated with DsRed (cystinosin-LKG-RFP) in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells (MDCK II) and in proximal tubular epithelial cells carrying a deletion of the CTNS gene (cystinotic PTEC), respectively.
RESULTS: Cystinosin-LKG-RFP colocalized with markers of lysosomes, late endosomes and was also expressed on the apical surface of polarized MDCK II cells. Moreover, immune-electron microscopy images of MDCK II cells overexpressing cystinosin-LKG-RFP showed stacked lamellar membranes inside perinuclear lysosomal structures. To study the role of LKG-isoform, we have investigated cystine accumulation and apoptosis that have been described in cystinotic cells. Cystinosin-LKG decreased cystine levels by approximately 10-fold similarly to cystinosin-RFP. The levels of TNFα- and actinomycin D-inducted apoptosis dropped in cystinotic cells expressing LKG-isoform. This effect was also similar to the main isoform.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that cystinosin-LKG and cystinosin move similar functional activities in cells.
- Journal Article