Back to top anchor

The role of the Pax-Notch pathway in kidney disease

41 months
Approved budget:
Professor Alan Davidson
Health issue:
Renal and urogenital
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is rising in New Zealand at an alarming rate, particularly in the Maori and Pasifika, and new treatments are urgently needed. Podocytes, the blood filtering cells in the kidney, die or are damaged in >90% of CKD cases. While podocytes try to undergo cell division after injury, they invariably die instead. The pathways that stimulate podocyte proliferation and death remain unclear but represent potential targets for developing new drugs. In this proposal, we will examine the function of Pax2 and Notch, two proteins that we have discovered to act together to drive podocyte growth and are re-activated in human kidney diseases. A better understanding of how these proteins work together will help develop new treatments for CKD in the future.