Research Papers:

Role of FOXO1 in aldosterone-induced autophagy: A compensatory protective mechanism related to podocyte injury

Bin Wang _, Wei Ding, Minmin Zhang, Hongmei Li, Honglei Guo, Lilu Lin, Jing Chen and Yong Gu

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:45331-45351. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9644

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Bin Wang1, Wei Ding2, Minmin Zhang1, Hongmei Li3, Honglei Guo3, Lilu Lin3, Jing Chen1, Yong Gu1

1Division of Nephrology, Huashan Hospital and Institute of Nephrology, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

2Division of Nephrology, Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China

3Division of Nephrology, The Fifth People’s Hospital of Shanghai, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Correspondence to:

Yong Gu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: podocyte, aldosterone, autophagy, FOXO1, apoptosis

Received: February 21, 2016    Accepted: April 16, 2016    Published: May 26, 2016


This study was undertaken to elucidate whether and how autophagy was regulated in aldosterone (Aldo)-induced podocyte injury and to examine its role in this model both in vitro and in vivo. In cultured podocytes, Aldo increased autophagy flux as indicated by the enhanced expression of LC3-II/LC3-I and the reduction of p62. Autophagy induction with rapamycin (RP) provided a cytoprotective effect, and inhibition of autophagy with Atg7-specific siRNA, chloroquine (CQ) or 3-methyladenine (3-MA) worsened Aldo-induced podocyte injury by attenuating endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Aldo inhibited Akt phosphorylation but increased the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway; however, Aldo up-regulated the expression of FOXO1 and its downstream effector Rab7. Either knockdown of FOXO1 or Rab7 inhibited Aldo-induced autophagy. Additionally, an elevated level of P300-regulated acetylation of FOXO1 and the interaction of acetylated FOXO1 and Atg7 were also confirmed to be involved in regulating autophagy in Aldo-induced podocytes. Similar results were further confirmed in vivo. We propose that autophagy enhancement through enhancing of the FOXO1/Rab7 axis and post-translational modification of FOXO1 may represent a potential therapeutic strategy against podocyte injury by promoting autophagy.

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