Background: Proximal tubules activated by reabsorption of protein are thought to play significant roles in the progression of kidney diseases. Thus, identification of genes related to proteinuria should provide insights into the pathological process of tubulointerstitial fibrosis.
Method: Gene expression profiles were constructed by means of direct sequencing procedures to identify genes induced in the mouse kidney proximal tubules (PT) exposed to proteinuria.
Results: By comparing the gene expression of control PT to that of disease model PT, the abundantly expressed genes in control PT were down-regulated presumably because of potentially toxic effects of proteinuria. From the more than 1000 up-regulated genes, an immunity related gene, thymic shared antigen-1 (TSA-1), and a novel gene, GS188, were selected for further characterization. The increased expression of TSA-1, a member of the Ly-6 family, and of GS188 in response to proteinuria was confirmed by Northern analysis, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization and laser microdissection along with real-time PCR analysis. Full length cloning of GS188 identified it as a family member of LR8 that was reported to express predominantly in fibroblasts.
Conclusions: The gene expression profiles showed that the expression patterns in PT were changed dramatically by proteinuria. The profiles include novel genes that should be further characterized to aid the understanding of the pathophysiology of progressive kidney diseases.