APOL1 at 10 years: progress and next steps

Kidney Int. 2021 Jun;99(6):1296-1302. doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2021.03.013. Epub 2021 Mar 29.


APOL1 kidney risk variants (RVs) were identified in 2010 as major drivers of glomerular, tubulointerstitial, and renal microvascular disease in individuals with sub-Saharan African ancestry. In December 2020, the "APOL1 at Ten" conference summarized the first decade of progress and discussed controversies and uncertainties that remain to be addressed. Topics included trypanosome infection and its role in the evolution of APOL1 kidney RVs, clinical phenotypes in APOL1-associated nephropathy, relationships between APOL1 RVs and background haplotypes on cell injury and molecular mechanisms initiating disease, the role of clinical APOL1 genotyping, and development of novel therapies for kidney disease. Future goals were defined, including improved characterization of various APOL1 RV phenotypes in patients and experimental preclinical models; further dissection of APOL1-mediated pathways to cellular injury and dysfunction in kidney (and other) cells; clarification of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions; and evaluation of the role for existing and novel therapies.

Keywords: APOL1; African Americans; apolipoprotein L1; chronic kidney disease; glomerulosclerosis; trypanosomiasis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Apolipoprotein L1* / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Kidney Diseases* / genetics
  • Kidney Diseases* / therapy


  • APOL1 protein, human
  • Apolipoprotein L1