Caldesmon isoform associated with phenotypic modulation of mesangial cells

Kazunori Okamoto, Naoki Kashihara, Yasushi Yamasaki, Koichiro Kanao, Yohei Maeshima, Takashi Sekikawa, Hitoshi Sugiyama, Takuro Murakami, Hirofumi Makino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Caldesmon (CAD) is a major calmodulin- and actin-binding protein distributed in smooth muscle cells (SMC) and nonmuscle cells. There are at least two high-molecular-weight CaD (h-CaD) isoforms and four low-molecular- weight CaD (I-CaD) isoforms produced by alternative splicing. Isoformal interconversion is associated with phenotypic modulations of vascular SMC. We investigated the CaD isoform in human and rat glomerular mesangial cells (MC) to characterize the phenotypic changes of MC involved in glomerular diseases. A Western blot analysis and reverse-transcription analysis using exon- specific primers revealed that one I-CaD isoform lacking exons 1, 3b and 4 was predominantly expressed in human cultured MC. The expression of this isoform was markedly enhanced in anti-Thy1.1 nephritis rats and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, while little expression was observed in the normal glomerulus. Isoformal interconversion did not occur during the phenotypic changes of MC. These data suggested that the activated MC resembled dedifferentiated SMC in terms of the CaD expression pattern, and that CaD is a useful marker of the phenotypic modulations of MC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Caldesmon
  • Contractile protein
  • Cytoskeletal protein
  • Glomerular injury
  • Mesangial cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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