Cellular and subcellular distribution of polycystin-2, the protein product of the PKD2 gene.
Mutations in the PKD1 and PKD2 genes account for 85 and 15% of cases of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, respectively. Polycystin-2, the product of the PKD2 gene, is predicted to be an integral membrane protein with homology to a family of voltage-activated Ca(2+) channels. In vitro studies suggest that it may interact with polycystin-1, the PKD1 gene product, via coiled-coil domains present in their C-terminal domains. In this study, the cellular and subcellular distribution of polycystin-2 is defined and compared with polycystin-1. A panel of rabbit polyclonal antisera was raised against polycystin-2 and shown to recognize a single band consistent with polycystin-2 in multiple tissues and cell lines by immunoprecipitation and Western blotting. Immunostaining of human and murine renal tissues demonstrated widespread and developmentally regulated expression of polycytin-2, with highest levels in the kidney in the thick ascending limbs of the loop of Henle and the distal convoluted tubule. In contrast, polycystin-1 expression, while localizing to the same tubular segments, was highest in the collecting ducts. Immunohistochemical staining and immunofluorescence microscopy localized polycystin-2 to the basolateral plasma membrane of kidney tubular epithelial cells compared with the junctional localization of polycystin-1. Differences in the developmental, cellular, and subcellular expression of polycystin-1 and polycystin-2 suggest that they may be able to function independently of each other in addition to a potential in vivo interaction via their C-termini.