Medical Professional Publications

Research Now: Discovering New Ways to Protect the Kidney

Children with kidney-damaging disorders can sometimes develop nephrotic syndrome, a syndrome that causes too much protein be released into the urine.  Children with nephrotic syndrome can experience swelling, weight gain and other side effects from the condition.   In nephrotic syndrome, the podocyte, the cell that makes up the barrier through which blood is filtered in the kidney, is damaged.

Dr. Bill Smoyer’s lab in the Center for Clinical and Translational Research studies the molecular mechanisms involved in podocyte injury during nephrotic syndrome.  Specifically, they study signal transduction through podocyte nuclear receptors and through mitogen-activated protein kinases.  Their goal is to develop new drugs to manipulate these signaling pathways in order to protect podocytes from injury during renal disease or to enhance podocyte recovery.

Select citations:
Agrawal S, Guess AJ, Benndorf R, Smoyer WE. Comparison of direct action of thiazolidinediones and glucocorticoids on renal podocytes: protection from injury and molecular effects. Mol Pharmacol. 2011 Sep;80(3):389-99.

Pengal R, Guess AJ, Agrawal S, Manley J, Ransom RF, Mourey RJ, Benndorf R, Smoyer WE. Inhibition of the protein kinase MK-2 protects podocytes from nephrotic syndrome-related injury. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2011 Sep;301(3):F509-19.

Contact: William Smoyer

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