Diabetic nephropathy is associated with increased mortality in diabetic patients and is a major cause of end-stage renal disease in most countries. Understanding its pathogenesis is important as it may equip us with novel ways in its prevention and in slowing its progression. To date, attempts to unravel the complex pathogenesis and pathophysiology of diabetic nephropathy have mostly focused on the glomerulus. However, recently a lot of data has accumulated that implicates the tubules as playing a key role. This article reviews these data and the light they throw on the role of renal tubules in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.