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New kidney protein regulates heart rate and blood pressure


The kidney is important for regulating fluid and electrolyte balance, and it also secretes proteins that have important biological roles. In a study appearing online on April 7 in advance of the print publication of the May 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Jianchao Xu and colleagues from Yale University searched for novel proteins secreted by the kidney.

The researchers have identified a new protein, called renalase. Renalase is secreted by the kidney into the blood and regulates heart rate and blood pressure. Interestingly, renalase levels are markedly reduced in patients with end-stage kidney disease as compared to healthy subjects. Therefore, there may be a causal link between reduced renalase and the increased cardiovascular risk that is often seen in patients with renal disease

The identification of renalase not only provides a more complete understanding of renal and cardiovascular physiology, but could also lead to the development of novel therapies for patients with chronic kidney disease.

Stacie Bloom | EurekAlert!
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