We studied whether nephrotoxic drug administration sensitizes to acute renal failure (ARF) by administering a sub-nephrotoxic dose of gentamicin. This pre-treatment sensitized animals with no sign of renal injury to develop ARF when exposed to a second potential nephrotoxic drug, also given at sub-nephrotoxic doses that would be otherwise harmless to non-sensitized animals. We identified urinary ganglioside M2 activator protein (GM2AP) as a biomarker of an enhanced sensitivity to suffer ARF following sub-nephrotoxic treatment with gentamicin. Sub-nephrotoxic gentamicin did not alter renal GM2AP gene expression or protein levels, determined by reverse transcriptase-PCR, western blot, and immunostaining, nor was its serum level modified. The origin of increased GM2AP in the urine is thought to be a defective tubular handling of this protein as a consequence of gentamicin action. Hence, markers of acquired sensitivity may improve the prevention of ARF by enhancing our capacity to monitor for this condition, in a preemptive manner.