Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Rogue receptor opens door for rare kidney disease

Effects of a particularly devastating human kidney disease may be blunted by making a certain cellular protein receptor much less receptive, according to new research by scientists from North Carolina State University and a number of French universities and hospitals.

The findings take a major step toward suggesting a beneficial treatment for rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis (RPGN), a rare but debilitating kidney disease that causes renal failure and death in humans.

In a paper published online in Nature Medicine, the researchers show that blocking the ability of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor – an important component in wound healing – to bind with certain molecules in the kidneys of mice can eliminate the harmful effects of a mimic version of RPGN.

EGF receptors act like important keyholes on a cell's surface, says Dr. David Threadgill, professor and head of NC State's Department of Genetics and a co-author of the paper. Certain keys, or in this case molecules, can fit with the receptor and "open the door" to a cascade of cellular processes leading to inflammation, which can be good when your body needs to heal a wound or a cut. It's bad, however, when the inflammation runs amok, as when RPGN takes hold.

How important are EGF receptors in RPGN? When EGF receptors were taken out of the equation – through special mice from Threadgill's lab that were genetically engineered without EGF receptors – the disease was unable to take hold and degenerate kidney tissues.

The study also showed that certain drugs that inhibit EGF receptors – think of them as pieces of gum in the keyholes – not only prevented mouse kidneys from degrading but also reversed the harmful effects four days after mice were exposed to the RPGN mimic.

"EGF receptors are essential components for life, but are implicated in not only RPGN but also a number of cancers like colon cancer and breast cancer," Threadgill says. "They must be tightly regulated. If we can inhibit these receptors for short periods of time, we may be able to stop out-of-control cell proliferation and inflammation and thus prevent or treat certain cancers or diseases."

The Department of Genetics is part of NC State's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

"The Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Promotes Glomerular Injury and Renal Failure in Rapidly Progressive Crescentic Glomerulonephritis; the Identification of Possible Therapy"

Authors: Martin Flamant, Universite Paris-Diderot; Guillaume Bollee, Universite Paris-Descartes; David Threadgill, North Carolina State University, et al

Published: Online Sept. 25, 2011, in Nature Medicine

Abstract: Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis (RPGN) is a clinical syndrome and a morphological expression of severe glomerular injury. Glomerular injury manifests as a proliferative histological pattern, accumulation of T cells and macrophages, proliferation of intrinsic glomerular cells, accumulation of cells in Bowman's space ("crescents"), and rapid deterioration of renal function. Here we show de novo induction of heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF) in intrinsic glomerular epithelial cells (podocytes) from both mice and humans with RPGN. HB-EGF induction increases phosphorylation of the EGFR/ErbB1 receptor in mice with anti-GBM disease. In HB-EGF-deficient mice, EGFR activation in glomeruli is absent and the course of RPGN is markedly improved. Autocrine HB-EGF induces a phenotypic switch in podocytes in vitro. Conditional deletion of the Egfr gene from podocytes of mice alleviates crescentic glomerulonephritis and the clinical features that accompany RPGN. Finally, pharmacological blockade of EGFR also prevents nephrotic syndrome, infiltration of T cells and macrophages, necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis, acute renal failure and death in mice. This approach is effective even when started 4 days after the induction of experimental RPGN, suggesting that targeting the HB-EGF/EGFR pathway could also be clinically beneficial for treatment of human RPGN.

Mick Kulikowski | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

First-time reconstruction of infectious bat influenza viruses

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Novel method to benchmark and improve the performance of protein measumeasurement techniques

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Amazon rain helps make more rain

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>