APOL1-miR193a axis participates in the preservation of molecular phenotype of differentiated podocytes (DPDs). We examined the hypothesis that APOL1 (G0) preserves, but APOL1 risk alleles (G1 and G2) disrupt APOL1-miR193a axis in DPDs. DPDG0s displayed down-regulation of miR193a, but upregulation of nephrin expression. DPDG1s/G2s exhibited an increase in miR193a and down-regulation of the expression of adherens complex’s constituents (CD2AP, nephrin, and dendrin). DPDG0s showed decreased Cathepsin L, enhanced dynamin expressions, and the intact actin cytoskeleton. On the contrary, DPDG1s/G2s displayed an increase in Cathepsin L, but down-regulation of dynamin expressions and disorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. APOL1 silencing enhanced miR193a and Cathepsin L, but down-regulated dynamin expressions. DPDG1s/G2s displayed nuclear import of dendrin, indicating an occurrence of destabilization of adherens complexes in APOL1 risk milieu. These findings suggest that DPDG1s and DPDG2s developed disorganized actin cytoskeleton as a consequence of disrupted APOL1-miR193a axis. Interestingly, docking and co-labeling studies suggested an interaction between APOL1 and CD2AP. APOL1 G1/G1 and APOL1 G1/G2 transgenic mice displayed nuclear import of dendrin indicating destabilization of adherens complexes in podocytes; moreover, these mice showed a four-fold increase in urinary albumin to creatinine ratio and development of focal segmental glomerular lesions.
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