Kidney disease is in your genes, no less than 35 of them

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Human kidney transplant, nephrosis
Human kidney

Identification of genes causing kidney disease may open new treatment vistas in future

An international study lead by University of Manchester scientists has discovered the identity of genes that predispose people to chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The discovery is a major advance in understanding of the significantly under-diagnosed disorder. If left undetected, CKD can lead to failing kidneys that need dialysis or kidney transplantation.

The discovery of 35 kidney genes is an important step forward to the future development of new diagnostic tests and treatments for the disease that affects around one in ten adults.

The team, based in Poland, Australia and the UK publish the Kidney Research UK funded study in Nature Communications today.

Data from the International Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Disease Data Center Study reported a CKD prevalence of 17% in India

The reported prevalence of CKD in different regions of India ranges from <1% to 13%. Data from the International Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Disease Data Center Study reported a prevalence of 17%.

Lead researcher Professor Maciej Tomaszewski from the University of Manchester said: “Chronic kidney disease is known for its strong genetic component. Our limited knowledge of its exact genetic mechanisms partly explains why progress in the development of new diagnostic tests and treatments of chronic kidney disease has been so slow.”

He added: “The findings were made possible by using a state-of-the art technology known as “next-generation RNA sequencing” applied to one of the largest ever collections of human kidneys.

Some of the kidney genes discovered may become attractive targets for the development of future diagnostics and treatment for patients with chronic kidney disease.

Co-author Professor Adrian Woolf from Manchester Children’s Hospital and The University of Manchester said: “One of the genes – mucin-1- is especially interesting. It makes a sticky protein called mucin that coats urinary tubes inside the kidney. Mutations of this gene have already been found in rare families with inherited kidney failure”

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