Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

MAPK pathway repair may cure renal diseases

14 Sep 2018, 01:53 ( 5 days ago) | updated: 14 Sep 2018, 10:49 ( 4 days ago)

DF Report
Press Release Photo by University of Helsinki.

Many forms of cancer, kidney diseases and diabetes are among the key factors that alter and degenerate the MAPK pathway specific to serine and threomine amino acids required for regulation of normal renal differentiation during embryogenesis, reports a recent University of Helsinki research.

MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) activity is not only required for normal proliferation and differentiation of nephron progenitors but also mediates crucial nephron progenitor interactions with the surrounding environment, mentioned the study report published in the scientific journal Stem Cell Reports.

The prevalence of kidney diseases is growing rapidly due to an aging population and an increasing number of cases of developing diseases like diabetes. Moreover, congenital anomalies of the kidney are among the most frequently occurring birth defects and play crucial causative roles in the development of renal diseases.

Currently, the only treatments for these diseases are dialysis and transplantation, which are insufficient and expensive with a higher mortality rate than in most cancers.

The study report said, the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for renal diseases requires detailed knowledge of the mechanisms regulating kidney development, adding that the present research has made significant advances in this regard.

According to the report, MAPK pathway mediates extracellular growth factor stimuli to the cell interior. It has functions in both the cell nucleus, where it controls DNA by binding to target regions, and in the cytosol, where it regulates activities of many different proteins.

“Our results reveal that MAPK activity participates in modulating cellular adhesion, which is constantly required in developing systems to enable cellular motility and morphogenesis” said the principal investigator Satu Kuure from the University of Helsinki.

Normal MPRK pathway is required for proper regulation of renal function, noted the study report, adding that MAPK activity modulators have long been actively used for treating cancer patients. This, together with the latest findings, gives hope for development of stem cell-based regenerative therapies as novel treatments for patients suffering from renal diseases.

Kuure said, “Use of MAPK modulators allows efficient and precise activation as well as inactivation of the pathway. Timely utilisation of this in patient-derived organoid differentiation may significantly improve the outcome.”

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