A new study has found that a gene called PVT1 may help reduce the kidneys ability to filter blood, leading to kidney disease, failure and death.
Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) found PVT1 expression levels increased up to 5-fold in response to hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, a condition that often accompanies diabetes.
But by knocking down or reducing the expression of the PVT1gene, they could lowered the amount of proteins associated with the excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) in glomeruli, part of the basic filtration unit of kidneys.
The accumulation of excessive ECM within the mesangial cells, which regulate blood flow in capillaries inside the kidney, is a hallmark of diabetic nephropathy, or kidney disease.
“The goal of this study was to identify possible molecular mechanisms by which PVT1 may contribute to the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy in mesangial cells,” said Johanna DiStefano, the study”s senior author.
The study was published in the online scientific journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE.