The biosynthetic routes leading to de novo nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) production are involved in acute kidney injury (AKI), with a critical role for quinolinate phosphoribosyl transferase (QPRT), a bottleneck enzyme of de novo NAD+ biosynthesis. The molecular mechanisms determining reduced QPRT in AKI, and the role of impaired NAD+ biosynthesis in the progression to chronic kidney disease (CKD), are unknown. We demonstrate that a high urinary quinolinate-to-tryptophan ratio, an indirect indicator of impaired QPRT activity and reduced de novo NAD+ biosynthesis in the kidney, is a clinically applicable early marker of AKI after cardiac surgery and is predictive of progression to CKD in kidney transplant recipients. We also provide evidence that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response may impair de novo NAD+ biosynthesis by repressing QPRT transcription. In conclusion, NAD+ biosynthesis impairment is an early event in AKI embedded with the ER stress response, and persistent reduction of QPRT expression is associated with AKI to CKD progression. This finding may lead to identification of noninvasive metabolic biomarkers of kidney injury with prognostic and therapeutic implications.
Yohan Bignon, Anna Rinaldi, Zahia Nadour, Virginie Poindessous, Ivan Nemazanyy, Olivia Lenoir, Baptiste Fohlen, Pierre Weill-Raynal, Alexandre Hertig, Alexandre Karras, Pierre Galichon, Maarten Naesens, Dany Anglicheau, Pietro E. Cippà, Nicolas Pallet