Research Triangle Park, N.C. -- July 6, 1999 -- BioStratum Incorporated announced today the publication in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (volume 96, pages 7962-7967) of the paper entitled "Nephrin is specifically located at the slit diaphragm of the glomerular podocyte". The work was completed in the laboratory of one of BioStratum's founding scientists, Dr. Karl Tryggvason of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
In this paper, nephrin is found at the 'slit diaphragm', also referred to as the 'slit membrane', an important structure in the kidney's filtration barrier. Nephrin appears to form a 'zipper-like' filtration structure that functions both as a key structural motif which organizes and maintains the integrity of the filtration barrier as well as a porous filtration structure that allows the liquid portion of the blood to pass but not plasma proteins.
A break-down in the kidney's ability to filter proteins is a common occurrence
in most kidney diseases, and results in proteinurea (protein in the urine).
Proteinuria is not only a consequence of kidney disease, but also is generally
regarded as a major contributing factor to the development of end-stage renal
disease, a condition requiring renal placement therapy (transplantation,
dialysis). Nephrin's key role in the kidney's filtration barrier suggests that
treatments which increase the production of this protein or restore its function
are likely to improve kidney function by restoring the kidney's ability to
filter proteins. BioStratum owns
Contact: Matthew Knight