Enzymatic disease of the podocyte

Pediatr Nephrol. 2010 Jun;25(6):1017-23. doi: 10.1007/s00467-009-1425-1. Epub 2010 Feb 4.


Proteinuria is an early sign of kidney disease and has gained increasing attention over the past decade because of its close association with cardio-vascular and renal morbidity and mortality. Podocytes have emerged as the cell type that is critical in maintaining proper functioning of the kidney filter. A few genes have been identified that explain genetic glomerular failure and recent insights shed light on the pathogenesis of acquired proteinuric diseases. This review highlights the unique role of the cysteine protease cathepsin L as a regulatory rather than a digestive protease and its action on podocyte structure and function. We provide arguments why many glomerular diseases can be regarded as podocyte enzymatic disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cathepsin L / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / enzymology*
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Podocytes / enzymology*
  • Podocytes / pathology


  • Cathepsin L