ASN's Mission

To create a world without kidney diseases, the ASN Alliance for Kidney Health elevates care by educating and informing, driving breakthroughs and innovation, and advocating for policies that create transformative changes in kidney medicine throughout the world.

learn more

Contact ASN

1401 H St, NW, Ste 900, Washington, DC 20005


The Latest on Twitter

Kidney Week

Abstract: SA-PO197

Beclin 1 Regulates Podocyte Secretory Pathways

Session Information

  • Glomerular: Cell Biology
    November 04, 2017 | Location: Hall H, Morial Convention Center
    Abstract Time: 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Category: Glomerular

  • 1003 Glomerular: Cell Biology


  • Bork, Tillmann, University Hospital Freiburg, Freiburg, BW, Germany
  • Liang, Wei, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
  • Yamahara, Kosuke, University Hospital Freiburg, Freiburg, BW, Germany
  • Huber, Tobias B., University Medical Center Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Podocyte crosstalk with other glomerular cells might be a common theme of glomerular health and disease. However, very little is known how podocyte secretory pathways are being regulated. The complex molecular structure of the autophagy initiating protein Beclin 1 (ATG6) suggested an additional involvement in membrane dynamics. Using podocyte-specific knock-out of Beclin 1 we aimed to further elucidate the specific role of Beclin 1 in podocytes.


Mice with podocyte-specific loss of Beclin 1 were generated by using cre-loxp technique and analyzed. For autophagy assessment and primary cell culture these mice were crossed to Tomato/eGFP and GFP-LC3 reporter strains, respectively.


Podocyte-specific knock-out of Beclin 1 results in proteinuria and decreased life span. Strikingly, podocytes show massively enlarged Golgi apparatus promoted by increased PI4P production leading to aberrant vesicle formation and vesicle accumulation indicating a functional disruption of the secretory pathway. In fact, VEGF secretion was massively decreased in of Beclin 1-deficient podocytes resulting in severe endothelial damage.


Here we identify a key regulatory protein of the secretory pathway by unravelling a novel function of Beclin 1 in podocytes. Promoting the delivery of secreted factors such as VEGF Beclin 1 is required for glomerular maintenance and might represent a novel pathway being affected in glomerular diseases.


  • Government Support - Non-U.S.