APOL1 C-Terminal Variants May Trigger Kidney Disease through Interference with APOL3 Control of Actomyosin

Cell Rep. 2020 Mar 17;30(11):3821-3836.e13. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.02.064.


The C-terminal variants G1 and G2 of apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) confer human resistance to the sleeping sickness parasite Trypanosoma rhodesiense, but they also increase the risk of kidney disease. APOL1 and APOL3 are death-promoting proteins that are partially associated with the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi membranes. We report that in podocytes, either APOL1 C-terminal helix truncation (APOL1Δ) or APOL3 deletion (APOL3KO) induces similar actomyosin reorganization linked to the inhibition of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate [PI(4)P] synthesis by the Golgi PI(4)-kinase IIIB (PI4KB). Both APOL1 and APOL3 can form K+ channels, but only APOL3 exhibits Ca2+-dependent binding of high affinity to neuronal calcium sensor-1 (NCS-1), promoting NCS-1-PI4KB interaction and stimulating PI4KB activity. Alteration of the APOL1 C-terminal helix triggers APOL1 unfolding and increased binding to APOL3, affecting APOL3-NCS-1 interaction. Since the podocytes of G1 and G2 patients exhibit an APOL1Δ or APOL3KO-like phenotype, APOL1 C-terminal variants may induce kidney disease by preventing APOL3 from activating PI4KB, with consecutive actomyosin reorganization of podocytes.

Keywords: APOL1; APOL3; MYH9; NCS-1; PI4KB; actomyosin cytoskeleton; kidney disease; phosphoinositide control; sleeping sickness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't