Immunoglobulin light chains activate tubular epithelial cells through redox signaling

Academic Article


  • The renal proximal tubule metabolizes circulating low-molecular-weight proteins such as Ig free light chains. In the setting of plasma cell dyscrasias, the burden of filtered protein can be very high. Endocytosis of certain nephrotoxic light chains induces H2O2 production and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) release, leading to recruitment of inflammatory cells and interstitial fibrosis, but how these processes are linked mechanistically is not well understood. This study investigated the relationship between H2O2 generated after light chain endocytosis by human proximal tubular (HK-2) cells and activation of c-Src, a redox-sensitive tyrosine kinase. HK-2 cells exposed to two different light chains upregulated c-Src activity, which increased the production of MCP-1. In parallel, we observed a time-dependent oxidation of c-Src. Inhibition of c-Src activity and silencing c-Src expression abrogated the light chain-induced MCP-1 response, but had no effect on H2O2, indicating that production of H2O2 is upstream of c-Src in the signaling cascade. Silencing megalin and cubilin expression inhibited the MCP-1 response, whereas extracellular catalase did not, indicating that endocytosis is required and that intracellular generation of reactive oxygen species activates c-Src. These data show that intracellular H2O2 induced by endocytosis of monoclonal free light chains oxidizes and activates c-Src, which promotes release of MCP-1. Copyright © 2010 by the American Society of Nephrology.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Basnayake K; Ying WZ; Wang PX; Sanders PW
  • Start Page

  • 1165
  • End Page

  • 1173
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 7