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      Genetics of Childhood Steroid Sensitive Nephrotic Syndrome: An Update

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          Abstract

          Advances in genome science in the last 20 years have led to the discovery of over 50 single gene causes and genetic risk loci for steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS). Despite these advances, the genetic architecture of childhood steroid sensitive nephrotic syndrome (SSNS) remains poorly understood due in large part to the varying clinical course of SSNS over time. Recent exome and genome wide association studies from well-defined cohorts of children with SSNS identified variants in multiple MHC class II molecules such as HLA-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1 as risk factors for SSNS, thus stressing the central role of adaptive immunity in the pathogenesis of SSNS. However, evidence suggests that unknown second hit risk loci outside of the MHC locus and environmental factors also make significant contributions to disease. In this review, we examine what is currently known about the genetics of SSNS, the implications of recent findings on our understanding of pathogenesis of SSNS, and how we can utilize these results and findings from future studies to improve the management of children with nephrotic syndrome.

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          Most cited references 97

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          Modification of kidney barrier function by the urokinase receptor.

          Podocyte dysfunction, represented by foot process effacement and proteinuria, is often the starting point for progressive kidney disease. Therapies aimed at the cellular level of the disease are currently not available. Here we show that induction of urokinase receptor (uPAR) signaling in podocytes leads to foot process effacement and urinary protein loss via a mechanism that includes lipid-dependent activation of alphavbeta3 integrin. Mice lacking uPAR (Plaur-/-) are protected from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated proteinuria but develop disease after expression of a constitutively active beta3 integrin. Gene transfer studies reveal a prerequisite for uPAR expression in podocytes, but not in endothelial cells, for the development of LPS-mediated proteinuria. Mechanistically, uPAR is required to activate alphavbeta3 integrin in podocytes, promoting cell motility and activation of the small GTPases Cdc42 and Rac1. Blockade of alphavbeta3 integrin reduces podocyte motility in vitro and lowers proteinuria in mice. Our findings show a physiological role for uPAR signaling in the regulation of kidney permeability.
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            Circulating factor associated with increased glomerular permeability to albumin in recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.

            Heavy proteinuria and progressive renal injury recur after transplantation in up to 40 percent of patients with renal failure caused by idiopathic focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. A circulating factor may be responsible for this recurrence. To determine whether patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis have a circulating factor capable of causing glomerular injury, we tested serum samples from 100 patients with the disorder in an in vitro assay of glomerular permeability to albumin. Of the 56 patients who had undergone renal transplantation, 33 had recurrences. Sixty-four patients, many of whom had undergone transplantation, were being treated with dialysis. Thirty-one patients with other renal diseases and nine normal subjects were also studied. The 33 patients with recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis after transplantation had a higher mean (+/-SE) value for permeability to albumin (0.47+/-0.06) than the normal subjects (0.06+/-0.07) or the patients who did not have recurrences (0.14+/-0.06). After plasmapheresis in six patients with recurrences, the permeability was reduced (from 0.79+/-0.06 to 0.10+/-0.05, P = 0.008), and proteinuria was significantly decreased. Patients with corticosteroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome or with membranous nephropathy after transplantation had low levels of serum activity. The circulating factor bound to protein A and hydrophobic-interaction columns and had an apparent molecular mass of about 50 kd. A circulating factor found in some patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is associated with recurrent disease after renal transplantation and may be responsible for initiating the renal injury.
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              Rituximab targets podocytes in recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.

              Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a glomerular disease characterized by proteinuria, progression to end-stage renal disease, and recurrence of proteinuria after kidney transplantation in about one-third of patients. It has been suggested that rituximab might treat recurrent FSGS through an unknown mechanism. Rituximab not only recognizes CD20 on B lymphocytes, but might also bind sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase acid-like 3b (SMPDL-3b) protein and regulate acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) activity. We hypothesized that rituximab prevents recurrent FSGS and preserves podocyte SMPDL-3b expression. We studied 41 patients at high risk for recurrent FSGS, 27 of whom were treated with rituximab at time of kidney transplant. SMPDL-3b protein, ASMase activity, and cytoskeleton remodeling were studied in cultured normal human podocytes that had been exposed to patient sera with or without rituximab. Rituximab treatment was associated with lower incidence of posttransplant proteinuria and stabilization of glomerular filtration rate. The number of SMPDL-3b(+) podocytes in postreperfusion biopsies was reduced in patients who developed recurrent FSGS. Rituximab partially prevented SMPDL-3b and ASMase down-regulation that was observed in podocytes treated with the sera of patients with recurrent FSGS. Overexpression of SMPDL-3b or treatment with rituximab was able to prevent disruption of the actin cytoskeleton and podocyte apoptosis induced by patient sera. This effect was diminished in cultured podocytes where SMPDL-3b was silenced. Our study suggests that treatment of high-risk patients with rituximab at time of kidney transplant might prevent recurrent FSGS by modulating podocyte function in an SMPDL-3b-dependent manner.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Pediatr
                Front Pediatr
                Front. Pediatr.
                Frontiers in Pediatrics
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                2296-2360
                29 January 2019
                2019
                : 7
                Affiliations
                1Division of Nephrology, Departments of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center , Durham, NC, United States
                2Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University Medical Center , Durham, NC, United States
                3Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos , Lagos, Nigeria
                Author notes

                Edited by: Frederick Jeffrey Kaskel, Children's Hospital at Montefiore, United States

                Reviewed by: Juan C. Kupferman, Maimonides Medical Center, United States; Jan Halbritter, Leipzig University, Germany; Vera Hermina Koch, University of São Paulo, Brazil

                *Correspondence: Rasheed A. Gbadegesin rasheed.gbadegesin@ 123456duke.edu

                This article was submitted to Pediatric Nephrology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Pediatrics

                Article
                10.3389/fped.2019.00008
                6361778
                Copyright © 2019 Lane, Cason, Esezobor and Gbadegesin.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 109, Pages: 13, Words: 10337
                Categories
                Pediatrics
                Review

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