Altered glycosylation of IgG4 promotes lectin complement pathway activation in anti-PLA2R1-associated membranous nephropathy.

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    • Abstract:
      Primary membranous nephropathy (pMN) is a leading cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults. In most cases, this autoimmune kidney disease is associated with autoantibodies against the M-type phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R1) expressed on kidney podocytes, but the mechanisms leading to glomerular damage remain elusive. Here, we developed a cell culture model using human podocytes and found that anti-PLA2R1-positive pMN patient sera or isolated IgG4, but not IgG4-depleted sera, induced proteolysis of the 2 essential podocyte proteins synaptopodin and NEPH1 in the presence of complement, resulting in perturbations of the podocyte cytoskeleton. Specific blockade of the lectin pathway prevented degradation of synaptopodin and NEPH1. Anti-PLA2R1 IgG4 directly bound mannose-binding lectin in a glycosylation-dependent manner. In a cohort of pMN patients, we identified increased levels of galactose-deficient IgG4, which correlated with anti-PLA2R1 titers and podocyte damage induced by patient sera. Assembly of the terminal C5b-9 complement complex and activation of the complement receptors C3aR1 or C5aR1 were required to induce proteolysis of synaptopodin and NEPH1 by 2 distinct proteolytic pathways mediated by cysteine and aspartic proteinases, respectively. Together, these results demonstrated a mechanism by which aberrantly glycosylated IgG4 activated the lectin pathway and induced podocyte injury in primary membranous nephropathy. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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