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SourceKidney International. Supplement, 90, 5, (2016), pp. 1012-1022
Article / Letter to editor
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IMM - Institute for Molecules and Materials
Kidney International. Supplement
SubjectRadboudumc 10: Reconstructive and regenerative medicine RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 11: Renal disorders RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Proteinuria is one of the first clinical signs of diabetic nephropathy and an independent predictor for the progression to renal failure. Cathepsin L, a lysosomal cysteine protease, can be involved in the development of proteinuria by degradation of proteins that are important for normal podocyte architecture, such as the CD2-associated protein, synaptopodin, and dynamin. Cathepsin L also activates heparanase, a heparan sulfate endoglycosidase previously shown to be crucial for the development of diabetic nephropathy. Here, we evaluated the exact mode of action of cathepsin L in the development of proteinuria in streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Cathepsin L-deficient mice, in contrast to their wild-type littermates, failed to develop albuminuria, mesangial matrix expansion, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and renal macrophage influx and showed a normal renal function. In wild-type mice the early development of albuminuria correlated with the activation of heparanase and loss of heparan sulfate expression, whereas loss of synaptopodin expression and podocyte damage occurred at a later stage. Thus, cathepsin L is causally involved in the pathogenesis of experimental diabetic nephropathy. Most likely, cathepsin L-dependent heparanase activation is crucial for the development of albuminuria and renal damage.
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