Cloning and characterization of a novel subunit of protein serine/threonine phosphatase 4 from mesangial cells

T. Wada, T. Miyata, R. Inagi, M. Nangaku, M. Wagatsuma, D. Suzuki, B. E. Wadzinski, K. Okubo, K. Kurokawa

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Mesangial cells play an important role in maintaining glomeruli structure and function and in the pathogenesis of glomerular diseases. With a novel approach using a rapid large-scale DNA sequencing strategy and computerized data processing, a new human gene, PP4Rmeg was cloned. The full-length cDNA clone of human PP4Rmeg coded for a novel 950-amino acid protein, which was similar to a subunit of protein serine/threonine phosphatase 4 (PP4). Recombinant PP4Rmeg produced in COS-7 cells bound to the catalytic subunit of PP4. PP4Rmeg is therefore structurally and functionally related to the recently reported regulatory subunit of PP4, PP4R1. Amino acid sequence analysis of rat PP4Rmeg homologue revealed that the sequences were well conserved between human and rat (86.3% identity). Northern blot analyses of human tissues and cultured cells demonstrated that the regulatory subunits were expressed abundantly in human cultured mesangial cells, although their expression was relatively ubiquitous. In situ hybridization studies in normal human renal tissues confirmed their expression in glomeruli in vivo. The expression was upregulated in glomeruli of anti-Thy1 glomerulonephritis rats before mesangial proliferation. These data demonstrate that PP4Rmeg is a novel regulatory subunit of PP4, which is expressed ubiquitously but abundantly in mesangial cells. Its pathophysiologic role in mesangial cells and glomerulus remains unknown. As PP4 is an essential protein for nucleation, growth, and stabilization of microtubules at centrosomes/spindle pole bodies during cell division, PP4Rmeg may play a role in regulation of mitosis in mesangial cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2601-2608
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Dec 17
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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