Mitochondrial dysfunction is increasingly recognized as a critical determinant of both hereditary and acquired kidney diseases. However, it remains poorly understood how mitochondrial metabolism is regulated to support normal kidney function and how its dysregulation contributes to kidney disease. Here, we show that the nuclear receptor estrogen-related receptor gamma (ERRγ) and hepatocyte nuclear factor 1 beta (HNF1β) link renal mitochondrial and reabsorptive functions through coordinated epigenomic programs. ERRγ directly regulates mitochondrial metabolism but cooperatively controls renal reabsorption via convergent binding with HNF1β. Deletion of ERRγ in renal epithelial cells (RECs), in which it is highly and specifically expressed, results in severe renal energetic and reabsorptive dysfunction and progressive renal failure that recapitulates phenotypes of animals and patients with HNF1β loss-of-function gene mutations. Moreover, ERRγ expression positively correlates with renal function and is decreased in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). REC-ERRγ KO mice share highly overlapping renal transcriptional signatures with human patients with CKD. Together these findings reveal a role for ERRγ in directing independent and HNF1β-integrated programs for energy production and use essential for normal renal function and the prevention of kidney disease.
Keywords: ERRγ; kidney; mitochondria; nuclear receptor; renal reabsorption.