Proteinuric chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains a major health problem worldwide. While the progression of primary glomerular disease to induce tubulointerstitial lesions is well established, the effect of tubular injury to trigger glomerular damage is poorly understood. We hypothesized that injured tubules secrete mediators that adversely affect glomerular health. To test this, we utilized conditional knockout mice with tubule-specific ablation of β-catenin (Ksp-β-cat-/-), and subjected them to chronic angiotensin II (Ang II) infusion or adriamycin. Compared to control mice, Ksp-β-cat-/- mice were dramatically protected from proteinuria and glomerular damage. Matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7), a downstream target of β-catenin, was upregulated in treated control mice, but this induction was blunted in the Ksp-β-cat-/- littermates. Incubation of isolated glomeruli with MMP-7 ex vivo led to nephrin depletion and impaired glomerular permeability. Furthermore, MMP-7 specifically and directly degraded nephrin in cultured glomeruli or cell-free systems, and this effect was dependent on its proteolytic activity. In vivo, expression or infusion of exogenous MMP-7 caused proteinuria, and genetic ablation of MMP-7 protected mice from Ang II-induced proteinuria and glomerular injury. Collectively, these results demonstrate that beta-catenin-driven MMP-7 release from renal tubules promotes glomerular injury via direct degradation of the key slit diaphragm protein nephrin.
Roderick J. Tan, Yingjian Li, Brittney M. Rush, Débora Malta Cerqueira, Dong Zhou, Haiyan Fu, Jacqueline Ho, Donna Beer Stolz, Youhua Liu
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.