Background: The renal tubules, which have distant metabolic features and functions in different segments, reabsorb >99% of approximately 180 l of water and 25,000 mmol of Na + daily. Defective metabolism in renal tubules is involved in the pathobiology of kidney diseases. However, the mechanisms underlying the metabolic regulation in renal tubules remain to be defined. Methods: We quantitatively compared the proteomes of the isolated proximal tubules (PT) and distal tubules (DT) from C57BL/6 mouse using tandem mass tag (TMT) labeling-based quantitative mass spectrometry. Bioinformatics analysis of the differentially expressed proteins revealed the significant differences between PT and DT in metabolism pathway. We also performed in vitro and in vivo assays to investigate the molecular mechanism underlying the distant metabolic features in PT and DT. Findings: We demonstrate that the renal proximal tubule (PT) has high expression of lipid metabolism enzymes, which is transcriptionally upregulated by abundantly expressed PPARα/γ. In contrast, the renal distal tubule (DT) has elevated glycolytic enzyme expression, which is mediated by highly expressed c-Myc. Importantly, PPARγ transcriptionally enhances the protease iRhom2 expression in PT, which suppresses EGF expression and secretion and subsequent EGFR-dependent glycolytic gene expression and glycolysis. PPARγ inhibition reduces iRhom2 expression and increases EGF and GLUT1 expression in PT in mice, resulting in renal tubule hypertrophy, tubulointerstitial fibrosis and damaged kidney functions, which are rescued by 2-deoxy-D-glucose treatment. Interpretation: These findings delineate instrumental mechanisms underlying the active lipid metabolism and suppressed glycolysis in PT and active glycolysis in DT and reveal critical roles for PPARs and c-Myc in maintaining renal metabolic homeostasis. FUND: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grants 81572076 and 81873932; to Q.Z.), the Applied Development Program of the Science and Technology Committee of Chongqing (cstc2014yykfB10003; Q.Z.), the Program of Populace Creativities Workshops of the Science and Technology Committee of Chongqing (Q.Z.), the special demonstration programs for innovation and application of techniques (cstc2018jscx-mszdX0022) from the Science and Technology Committee of Chongqing (Q.Z.).
Lyu, Z., Mao, Z., Li, Q., Xia, Y., Liu, Y., He, Q., … Zhou, Q. (2018). PPARγ maintains the metabolic heterogeneity and homeostasis of renal tubules. EBioMedicine, 38, 178–190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2018.10.072