The role of heparanase and the endothelial glycocalyx in the development of proteinuria
SourceNephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation, 29, 1, (2014), pp. 49-55
Article / Letter to editor
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Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation
SubjectRadboudumc 11: Renal disorders RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Proteinuria is a hallmark of many glomerular diseases and an independent risk factor for the progression of renal failure. Proteinuria results from damage to the glomerular filtration barrier (GFB), which plays a critical role in size- and charge-selective filtration. The GFB consists of three layers, which is the fenestrated endothelium that is covered by the glycocalyx, the podocytes and the intervening glomerular basement membrane. Defects in one of the three layers in the GFB can lead to the development of proteinuria. Heparan sulphate (HS) is a negatively charged polysaccharide that is abundantly expressed in all layers of the GFB. HS expression in the GFB is reduced in the majority of patients with proteinuria, which is associated with an increased glomerular expression of the HS-degrading enzyme heparanase. The primary role of HS in the development of proteinuria has been challenged after the establishment of several genetically engineered mouse models with an altered HS expression that did not display development of overt proteinuria. However, in a recent study, we showed that heparanase is essential for the development of proteinuria in diabetic nephropathy, which suggests that loss of HS contributes to the development of proteinuria. Recent studies also further highlight the importance of the glomerular endothelial glycocalyx in charge-selective filtration and the development of proteinuria. This review aims to summarize our current knowledge on the role of in particular HS and heparanase in the development of proteinuria.
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