Large-scale identification of genes implicated in kidney glomerulus development and function

EMBO J. 2006 Mar 8;25(5):1160-74. doi: 10.1038/sj.emboj.7601014. Epub 2006 Feb 23.


To advance our understanding of development, function and diseases in the kidney glomerulus, we have established and large-scale sequenced cDNA libraries from mouse glomeruli at different stages of development, resulting in a catalogue of 6053 different genes. The glomerular cDNA clones were arrayed and hybridized against a series of labeled targets from isolated glomeruli, non-glomerular kidney tissue, FACS-sorted podocytes and brain capillaries, which identified over 300 glomerular cell-enriched transcripts, some of which were further sublocalized to podocytes, mesangial cells and juxtaglomerular cells by in situ hybridization. For the earliest podocyte marker identified, Foxc2, knockout mice were used to analyze the role of this protein during glomerular development. We show that Foxc2 controls the expression of a distinct set of podocyte genes involved in podocyte differentiation and glomerular basement membrane maturation. The primary podocyte defects also cause abnormal differentiation and organization of the glomerular vascular cells. We surmise that studies on the other novel glomerulus-enriched transcripts identified in this study will provide new insight into glomerular development and pathomechanisms of disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basement Membrane / cytology
  • Basement Membrane / metabolism
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Female
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Gene Library
  • Glomerular Mesangium / cytology
  • Glomerular Mesangium / metabolism
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Kidney Glomerulus / cytology
  • Kidney Glomerulus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nephrons / cytology
  • Nephrons / metabolism
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Podocytes / cytology
  • Podocytes / metabolism


  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • mesenchyme fork head 1 protein
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases