MAPK signaling pathway enables normal proliferation and differentiation of nephron progenitors and also mediates important nephron progenitor interactions with the surrounding environment. The study is published in Stem Cell Reports.
The prevalence of kidney diseases is growing rapidly due to an aging population and an increased incidence of diseases like diabetes. Moreover, congenital anomalies of the kidney are among the most frequently occurring birth defects and play crucial causative roles in the development of renal diseases.
‘MAPK activity modulators give hope for the development of stem cell-based regenerative therapies as novel treatments for patients suffering from renal diseases.’
Currently, the only treatments for these diseases are dialysis and transplantation, which are insufficient and expensive with a higher mortality rate than in most cancers.
Development of new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for renal diseases requires detailed knowledge of the mechanisms regulating kidney development.
MAPK pathway mediates extracellular growth factor stimuli to the cell interior. It has functions in both the cell nucleus, where it controls DNA by binding to target regions, and in the cytosol, where it regulates activities of many different proteins.
- Our results reveal that MAPK activity participates in modulating cellular adhesion, which is constantly required in developing systems to enable cellular motility and morphogenesis, explains the principal investigator Satu Kuure from the University of Helsinki, Finland.
- Use of MAPK modulators allows efficient and precise activation as well as inactivation of the pathway. Timely utilization of this in patient-derived organoid differentiation may significantly improve the outcome, foresees Kuure.