VIP17/MAL expression modulates epithelial cyst formation and ciliogenesis

Vinita Takiar, Kavita Mistry, Monica Carmosino, Nicole Schaeren-Wiemers, Michael J. Caplan


The polarized organization of epithelial cells is required for vectorial solute transport and may be altered in renal cystic diseases. Vesicle integral protein of 17 kDa (VIP17/MAL) is involved in apical vesicle transport. VIP17/MAL overexpression in vivo results in renal cystogenesis of unknown etiology. Renal cystogenesis can occur as a consequence of defects of the primary cilium. To explore the role of VIP17/MAL in renal cystogenesis and ciliogenesis, we examined the polarization and ciliary morphology of wild-type and VIP17/MAL overexpressing Madin-Darby canine kidney renal epithelial cells grown in two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) cyst culture. VIP17/MAL is apically localized when expressed in cells maintained in 2D and 3D culture. VIP17/MAL overexpressing cells produce more multilumen cysts compared with controls. While the distributions of basolateral markers are not affected, VIP17/MAL expression results in aberrant sorting of the apical marker gp135 to the primary cilium. VIP17/MAL overexpression is also associated with shortened or absent cilia. Immunofluorescence analysis performed on kidney sections from VIP17/MAL transgenic mice also demonstrates fewer and shortened cilia within dilated lumens (P < 0.01). These studies demonstrate that VIP17/MAL overexpression results in abnormal cilium and cyst development, in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that VIP17/MAL overexpressing mice may develop cysts secondary to a ciliary defect.

  • cystogenesis
  • polycystic kidney disease
  • epithelial trafficking
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