Tyrosines-740/751 of PDGFRβ contribute to the activation of Akt/Hif1α/TGFβ nexus to drive high glucose-induced glomerular mesangial cell hypertrophy

Falguni Das, Nandini Ghosh-Choudhury, Balakuntalam S. Kasinath, Goutam Ghosh Choudhury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Glomerular mesangial cell hypertrophy contributes to the complications of diabetic nephropathy. The mechanism by which high glucose induces mesangial cell hypertrophy is poorly understood. Here we explored the role of the platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGFRβ) tyrosine kinase in driving the high glucose-induced mesangial cell hypertrophy. We show that high glucose stimulates the association of the PDGFRβ with PI 3 kinase leading to tyrosine phosphorylation of the latter. High glucose-induced Akt kinase activation was also dependent upon PDGFRβ and its tyrosine phosphorylation at 740/751 residues. Inhibition of PDGFRβ activity, its downregulation and expression of its phospho-deficient (Y740/751F) mutant inhibited mesangial cell hypertrophy by high glucose. Interestingly, expression of constitutively active Akt reversed this inhibition, indicating a role of Akt kinase downstream of PDGFRβ phosphorylation in this process. The transcription factor Hif1α is a target of Akt kinase. siRNAs against Hif1α inhibited the high glucose-induced mesangial cell hypertrophy. In contrast, increased expression of Hif1α induced hypertrophy similar to high glucose. We found that inhibition of PDGFRβ and expression of PDGFRβ Y740/751F mutant significantly inhibited the high glucose-induced expression of Hif1α. Importantly, expression of Hif1α countered the inhibition of mesangial cell hypertrophy induced by siPDGFRβ or PDGFRβ Y740/751F mutant. Finally, we show that high glucose-stimulated PDGFRβ tyrosine phosphorylation at 740/751 residues and the tyrosine kinase activity of the receptor regulate the transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) expression by Hif1α. Thus we define the cell surface PDGFRβ as a major link between high glucose and its effectors Hif1α and TGFβ for induction of diabetic mesangial cell hypertrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages10
JournalCellular Signalling
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Receptor tyrosine kinase
  • Renal hypertrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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