Study Uncovers Gene That Causes Kidney Cells to Self-Destruct

Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have uncovered a gene that could prove to be a promising target to stop the progression of kidney disease. Using a mouse model, the scientists identified genes that are overexpressed as kidney disease worsens, hitting upon the RTN1 gene as a key culprit in disease severity. They confirmed increased expression of the RTN1 gene in human patients as well. Their studies showed that overexpression of RTN1 leads to increased production of the corresponding protein, reticulon, which ultimately causes kidney cells to self-destruct. Knocking down expression of RTN1 led to improvements in kidney disease markers.

Sources:

Key Gene Found to Drive Kidney Disease Severity, ScienceDaily, July 31, 2015

RTN1 Mediates Progression of Kidney Disease by Inducing ER Stress, Nature Communications, July 31, 2015

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