Deacetylation of Septin4 by SIRT2 (Silent Mating Type Information Regulation 2 Homolog-2) Mitigates Damaging of Hypertensive Nephropathy

Circ Res. 2023 Mar 3;132(5):601-624. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.122.321591. Epub 2023 Feb 14.


Background: Hypertension can lead to podocyte damage and subsequent apoptosis, eventually resulting in glomerulosclerosis. Although alleviating podocyte apoptosis has clinical significance for the treatment of hypertensive nephropathy, an effective therapeutic target has not yet been identified. The function of septin4, a proapoptotic protein and an important marker of organ damage, is regulated by post-translational modification. However, the exact role of septin4 in regulating podocyte apoptosis and its connection to hypertensive renal damage remains unclear.

Methods: We investigated the function and mechanism of septin4 in hypertensive nephropathy to discover a theoretical basis for targeted treatment. Mouse models including Rosa 26 (Gt(ROSA)26Sor)-SIRT2 (silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog-2)-Flag-TG (transgenic) (SIRT2-TG) mice SIRT2-knockout, and septin4-K174Q mutant mice, combined with proteomic and acetyl proteomics analysis, followed by multiple molecular biological methodologies, were used to demonstrate mechanisms of SIRT2-mediated deacetylation of septin4-K174 in hypertensive nephropathy.

Results: Using transgenic septin4-K174Q mutant mice treated with the antioxidant Tempol, we found that hyperacetylation of the K174 site of septin4 exacerbates Ang II (angiotensin II)- induced hypertensive renal injury resulting from oxidative stress. Proteomics and Western blotting assays indicated that septin4-K174Q activates the cleaved-PARP1 (poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase family, member 1)-cleaved-caspase3 pathway. In septin4-knockdown human renal podocytes, septin4-K174R, which mimics deacetylation at K174, rescues podocyte apoptosis induced by Ang II. Immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry analyses identified SIRT2 as a deacetylase that interacts with the septin4 GTPase domain and deacetylates septin4-K174. In Sirt2-deficient mice and SIRT2-knockdown renal podocytes, septin4-K174 remains hyperacetylated and exacerbates hypertensive renal injury. By contrast, in Rosa26-Sirt2-Flag (SIRT2-TG) mice and SIRT2-knockdown renal podocytes reexpressing wild-type SIRT2, septin4-K174 is hypoacetylated and mitigates hypertensive renal injury.

Conclusions: Septin4, when activated through acetylation of K174 (K174Q), promotes hypertensive renal injury. Septin4-K174R, which mimics deacetylation by SIRT2, inhibits the cleaved-PARP1-cleaved-caspase3 pathway. Septin4-K174R acts as a renal protective factor, mitigating Ang II-induced hypertensive renal injury. These findings indicate that septin4-K174 is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of hypertensive renal injury.

Keywords: apoptosis; hypertensive nephropathy; podocytes; proteomics; sirtuins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Humans
  • Hypertension*
  • Hypertension, Renal* / genetics
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Proteomics
  • Sirtuin 2 / genetics
  • Sirtuin 2 / metabolism


  • SIRT2 protein, human
  • Sirtuin 2
  • Sept4 protein, mouse

Supplementary concepts

  • Hypertensive Nephropathy