Ephrin-B1 plays a critical role at slit diaphragm. Partitioning-defective (Par)-6 is down-regulated in podocyte of ephrin-B1 knockout mouse, suggesting that Par-6 is associated with ephrin-B1. Par polarity complex, consisting of Par-6, Par-3, and atypical protein kinase C, is essential for tight junction formation. In this study, the expression of Par-6 was analyzed in the normal and nephrotic syndrome model rats, and the molecular association of Par-6, Par-3, ephrin-B1, and nephrin was assessed with the human embryonic kidney 293 cell expression system. Par-6 was concentrated at slit diaphragm. Par 6 interacted with ephrin-B1 but not with nephrin, and Par-3 interacted with nephrin but not with ephrin-B1. The complexes of Par-6-ephrin-B1 and Par-3-nephrin were linked via extracellular sites of ephrin-B1 and nephrin. The Par-6-ephrin-B1 complex was delinked from the Par-3-nephrin complex, and Par-6 and ephrin-B1 were clearly down-regulated already at early phase of nephrotic model. The alteration of Par-6/ephrin-B1 advanced that of Par-3/nephrin. Stimulation to nephrin phosphorylated not only nephrin but also ephrin-B1, and consequently inhibited the interaction between ephrin-B1 and Par-6. Par-6 appeared at presumptive podocyte of early developmental stage and moved to basal area at capillary loop stage to participate in slit diaphragm formation at the final stage. Par-6-ephrin-B1 interaction is crucial for formation and maintenance of slit diaphragm of podocyte.
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