The epidermal growth factor receptor pathway in chronic kidney diseases

Nat Rev Nephrol. 2016 Aug;12(8):496-506. doi: 10.1038/nrneph.2016.91. Epub 2016 Jul 4.


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway has a critical role in renal development, tissue repair and electrolyte handling. Numerous studies have reported an association between dysregulation of this pathway and the initiation and progression of various chronic kidney diseases such as diabetic nephropathy, chronic allograft nephropathy and polycystic kidney disease through the promotion of renal cell proliferation, fibrosis and inflammation. In the oncological setting, compounds that target the EGFR pathway are already in clinical use or have been evaluated in clinical trials; in the renal setting, therapeutic interventions targeting this pathway by decreasing ligand availability with disintegrin and metalloproteinase inhibitors or with ligand-neutralizing antibodies, or by inhibiting receptor activation with tyrosine kinase inhibitors or monoclonal antibodies are only just starting to be explored in animal models of chronic kidney disease and in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. In this Review we focus on the role of the EGFR signalling pathway in the kidney under physiological conditions and during the pathophysiology of chronic kidney diseases and explore the clinical potential of interventions in this pathway to treat chronic renal diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • ErbB Receptors / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / etiology*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • ErbB Receptors