Is podocyte shape controlled by the dystroglycan complex?

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2002;17 Suppl 9:23-4. doi: 10.1093/ndt/17.suppl_9.23.


Alpha- and beta-dystroglycan were detected at the base of foot processes of human glomeruli by immunoelectron microscopy. Perfusion of isolated rat kidneys with the polycationic compound protamine sulfate was found to induce rapid (i.e. within 15 min) flattening of foot processes in an energy- and actin-dependent fashion. Here we provide evidence that (i) glomeruli possess large amounts of a specifically composed complex; (ii) this complex may undergo changes in human glomerular disease; and (iii) flattening of foot processes is directly associated with dissociation of laminin-dystroglycan complexes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Dystroglycans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kidney / cytology*
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Laminin / metabolism
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Rats


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • DAG1 protein, human
  • Laminin
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Dystroglycans