Obesity is a risk factor for the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease. It is not clear whether the adoption of a high-protein diet in obese patients affects renal lipid metabolism or kidney function. Thus the aims of this study were to assess in obese Zuckerfa/fa rats the effects of different types and amounts of dietary protein on the expression of lipogenic and inflammatory genes, as well as renal lipid concentration and biochemical parameters of kidney function. Rats were fed different concentrations of soy protein or casein (20, 30, 45%) for 2 mo. Independent of the type of protein ingested, higher dietary protein intake led to higher serum triglycerides (TG) than rats fed adequate concentrations of protein. Additionally, the soy protein diet significantly increased serum TG compared with the casein diet. However, rats fed soy protein had significantly decreased serum cholesterol concentrations compared with those fed a casein diet. No significant differences in renal TG and cholesterol concentrations were observed between rats fed with either protein diets. Renal expression of sterol-regulatory element binding protein 2 (SREBP-2) and its target gene HMG-CoA reductase was significantly increased as the concentration of dietary protein increased. The highest protein diets were associated with greater expression of proinflammatory cytokines in the kidney, independent of the type of dietary protein. These results indicate that high soy or casein protein diets upregulate the expression of lipogenic and proinflammatory genes in the kidney.