The function of endocytosis in podocytes

Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2013 Jul;22(4):432-8. doi: 10.1097/MNH.0b013e3283624820.


Purpose of review: In this review, we discuss the role of endocytosis, a fundamental process internalizing molecules from the plasma membrane, and its critical importance in podocyte biology.

Recent findings: Endocytic clathrin and nonclathrin-coated pits have been visualized in podocytes using electron microscopy, but the functional biological relevance has not been well defined. Recent evidence suggests that loss of key clathrin endocytic regulatory apparatus, such as dynamin, synaptojanin 1 or endophilin, in genetic mouse models of disease results in severe proteinuria and foot process effacement. In addition, several genes implicated in human nephrotic syndrome directly or indirectly associate with these endocytic proteins, thus creating a protein network that is linked in actin dynamics, signalling and endocytosis.

Summary: This review summarizes our current understanding of membrane trafficking specifically in podocytes, thus giving further novel insights into the molecular mechanisms and pathogenesis of nephrotic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Clathrin-Coated Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Clathrin-Coated Vesicles / ultrastructure
  • Coated Pits, Cell-Membrane / metabolism*
  • Coated Pits, Cell-Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Endocytosis*
  • Humans
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / pathology
  • Podocytes / metabolism*
  • Podocytes / ultrastructure
  • Protein Transport
  • Proteinuria / metabolism
  • Proteinuria / pathology
  • Signal Transduction