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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
N-Acetylgalactosaminide ?2,6-sialyltransferase II is a candidate enzyme for sialylation of galactose-deficient IgA1, the key autoantigen in IgA nephropathy.
Nephrol. Dial. Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 10-05-2014
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Galactose-deficient O-glycans in the hinge region (HR) of immunoglobulin A1 (IgA1) play a key role in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy (IgAN). O-Glycans of circulatory IgA1 consist of N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) with a ?1,3-linked galactose; both sugars may be sialylated. In patients with IgAN, ?2,6-sialylated GalNAc is a frequent form of the galactose-deficient O-glycans. Prior analyses of IgA1-producing cells had indicated that ?2,6-sialyltransferase II (ST6GalNAc-II) is likely responsible for sialylation of GalNAc of galactose-deficient IgA1, but direct evidence is missing.
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Cellular signaling and production of galactose-deficient IgA1 in IgA nephropathy, an autoimmune disease.
J Immunol Res
PUBLISHED: 07-23-2014
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Immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy (IgAN), the leading cause of primary glomerulonephritis, is characterized by IgA1-containing immunodeposits in the glomeruli. IgAN is a chronic disease, with up to 40% of patients progressing to end-stage renal disease, with no disease-specific treatment. Multiple studies of the origin of the glomerular immunodeposits have linked elevated circulating levels of aberrantly glycosylated IgA1 (galactose-deficient in some O-glycans; Gd-IgA1) with formation of nephritogenic Gd-IgA1-containing immune complexes. Gd-IgA1 is recognized as an autoantigen in susceptible individuals by anti-glycan autoantibodies, resulting in immune complexes that may ultimately deposit in the kidney and induce glomerular injury. Genetic studies have revealed that an elevated level of Gd-IgA1 in the circulation of IgAN patients is a hereditable trait. Moreover, recent genome-wide association studies have identified several immunity-related loci that associated with IgAN. Production of Gd-IgA1 by IgA1-secreting cells of IgAN patients has been attributed to abnormal expression and activity of several key glycosyltransferases. Substantial evidence is emerging that abnormal signaling in IgA1-producing cells is related to the production of Gd-IgA1. As Gd-IgA1 is the key autoantigen in IgAN, understanding the genetic, biochemical, and environmental aspects of the abnormal signaling in IgA1-producing cells will provide insight into possible targets for future disease-specific therapy.
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Discovery of new risk loci for IgA nephropathy implicates genes involved in immunity against intestinal pathogens.
Krzysztof Kiryluk, Yifu Li, Francesco Scolari, Simone Sanna-Cherchi, Murim Choi, Miguel Verbitsky, David Fasel, Sneh Lata, Sindhuri Prakash, Samantha Shapiro, Clara Fischman, Holly J Snyder, Gerald Appel, Claudia Izzi, Battista Fabio Viola, Nadia Dallera, Lucia Del Vecchio, Cristina Barlassina, Erika Salvi, Francesca Eleonora Bertinetto, Antonio Amoroso, Silvana Savoldi, Marcella Rocchietti, Alessandro Amore, Licia Peruzzi, Rosanna Coppo, Maurizio Salvadori, Pietro Ravani, Riccardo Magistroni, Gian Marco Ghiggeri, Gianluca Caridi, Monica Bodria, Francesca Lugani, Landino Allegri, Marco Delsante, Mariarosa Maiorana, Andrea Magnano, Giovanni Frasca, Emanuela Boer, Giuliano Boscutti, Claudio Ponticelli, Renzo Mignani, Carmelita Marcantoni, Domenico Di Landro, Domenico Santoro, Antonello Pani, Rosaria Polci, Sandro Feriozzi, Silvana Chicca, Marco Galliani, Maddalena Gigante, Loreto Gesualdo, Pasquale Zamboli, Giovanni Giorgio Battaglia, Maurizio Garozzo, Dita Maixnerová, Vladimir Tesar, Frank Eitner, Thomas Rauen, Jürgen Floege, Tibor Kovacs, Judit Nagy, Krzysztof Mucha, Leszek Pączek, Marcin Zaniew, Małgorzata Mizerska-Wasiak, Maria Roszkowska-Blaim, Krzysztof Pawlaczyk, Daniel Gale, Jonathan Barratt, Lise Thibaudin, Francois Berthoux, Guillaume Canaud, Anne Boland, Marie Metzger, Ulf Panzer, Hitoshi Suzuki, Shin Goto, Ichiei Narita, Yasar Caliskan, Jingyuan Xie, Ping Hou, Nan Chen, Hong Zhang, Robert J Wyatt, Jan Novak, Bruce A Julian, John Feehally, Bénédicte Stengel, Daniele Cusi, Richard P Lifton, Ali G Gharavi.
Nat. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 05-13-2014
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We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of IgA nephropathy (IgAN), the most common form of glomerulonephritis, with discovery and follow-up in 20,612 individuals of European and East Asian ancestry. We identified six new genome-wide significant associations, four in ITGAM-ITGAX, VAV3 and CARD9 and two new independent signals at HLA-DQB1 and DEFA. We replicated the nine previously reported signals, including known SNPs in the HLA-DQB1 and DEFA loci. The cumulative burden of risk alleles is strongly associated with age at disease onset. Most loci are either directly associated with risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or maintenance of the intestinal epithelial barrier and response to mucosal pathogens. The geospatial distribution of risk alleles is highly suggestive of multi-locus adaptation, and genetic risk correlates strongly with variation in local pathogens, particularly helminth diversity, suggesting a possible role for host-intestinal pathogen interactions in shaping the genetic landscape of IgAN.
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End-stage renal disease in African Americans with lupus nephritis is associated with APOL1.
PUBLISHED: 02-08-2014
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Lupus nephritis (LN) is a severe manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that exhibits familial aggregation and may progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). LN is more prevalent among African Americans than among European Americans. This study was undertaken to investigate the hypothesis that the apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1) nephropathy risk alleles G1/G2, common in African Americans and rare in European Americans, contribute to the ethnic disparity in risk.
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Cytokines alter IgA1 O-glycosylation by dysregulating C1GalT1 and ST6GalNAc-II enzymes.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 01-07-2014
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IgA nephropathy (IgAN), the most common primary glomerulonephritis, is characterized by renal immunodeposits containing IgA1 with galactose-deficient O-glycans (Gd-IgA1). These immunodeposits originate from circulating immune complexes consisting of anti-glycan antibodies bound to Gd-IgA1. As clinical disease onset and activity of IgAN often coincide with mucosal infections and dysregulation of cytokines, we hypothesized that cytokines may affect IgA1 O-glycosylation. We used IgA1-secreting cells derived from the circulation of IgAN patients and healthy controls and assessed whether IgA1 O-glycosylation is altered by cytokines. Of the eight cytokines tested, only IL-6 and, to a lesser degree, IL-4 significantly increased galactose deficiency of IgA1; changes in IgA1 O-glycosylation were robust for the cells from IgAN patients. These cytokines reduced galactosylation of the O-glycan substrate directly via decreased expression of the galactosyltransferase C1GalT1 and, indirectly, via increased expression of the sialyltransferase ST6GalNAc-II, which prevents galactosylation by C1GalT1. These findings were confirmed by siRNA knockdown of the corresponding genes and by in vitro enzyme reactions. In summary, IL-6 and IL-4 accentuated galactose deficiency of IgA1 via coordinated modulation of key glycosyltransferases. These data provide a mechanism explaining increased immune-complex formation and disease exacerbation during mucosal infections in IgAN patients.
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Enzymatic sialylation of IgA1 O-glycans: implications for studies of IgA nephropathy.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) have elevated circulating levels of IgA1 with some O-glycans consisting of galactose (Gal)-deficient N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) with or without N-acetylneuraminic acid (NeuAc). We have analyzed O-glycosylation heterogeneity of naturally asialo-IgA1 (Ale) myeloma protein that mimics Gal-deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1) of patients with IgAN, except that IgA1 O-glycans of IgAN patients are frequently sialylated. Specifically, serum IgA1 of healthy controls has more ?2,3-sialylated O-glycans (NeuAc attached to Gal) than ?2,6-sialylated O-glycans (NeuAc attached to GalNAc). As IgA1-producing cells from IgAN patients have an increased activity of ?2,6-sialyltransferase (ST6GalNAc), we hypothesize that such activity may promote premature sialylation of GalNAc and, thus, production of Gd-IgA1, as sialylation of GalNAc prevents subsequent Gal attachment. Distribution of NeuAc in IgA1 O-glycans may play an important role in the pathogenesis of IgAN. To better understand biological functions of NeuAc in IgA1, we established protocols for enzymatic sialylation leading to ?2,3- or ?2,6-sialylation of IgA1 O-glycans. Sialylation of Gal-deficient asialo-IgA1 (Ale) myeloma protein by an ST6GalNAc enzyme generated sialylated IgA1 that mimics the Gal-deficient IgA1 glycoforms in patients with IgAN, characterized by ?2,6-sialylated Gal-deficient GalNAc. In contrast, sialylation of the same myeloma protein by an ?2,3-sialyltransferase yielded IgA1 typical for healthy controls, characterized by ?2,3-sialylated Gal. The GalNAc-specific lectin from Helix aspersa (HAA) is used to measure levels of Gd-IgA1. We assessed HAA binding to IgA1 sialylated at Gal or GalNAc. As expected, ?2,6-sialylation of IgA1 markedly decreased reactivity with HAA. Notably, ?2,3-sialylation also decreased reactivity with HAA. Neuraminidase treatment recovered the original HAA reactivity in both instances. These results suggest that binding of a GalNAc-specific lectin is modulated by sialylation of GalNAc as well as Gal in the clustered IgA1 O-glycans. Thus, enzymatic sialylation offers a useful model to test the role of NeuAc in reactivities of the clustered O-glycans with lectins.
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A panel of serum biomarkers differentiates IgA nephropathy from other renal diseases.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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There is increasing evidence that galactose-deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1) and Gd-IgA1-containing immune complexes are important for the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy (IgAN). In the present study, we assessed a novel noninvasive multi-biomarker approach in the diagnostic test for IgAN.
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Biomarkers in IgA nephropathy: relationship to pathogenetic hits.
Expert Opin Med Diagn
PUBLISHED: 11-02-2013
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IgA nephropathy, the most prevalent glomerular disease in the world, requires a renal biopsy for diagnosis. Reliable biomarkers are needed for the non-invasive diagnosis of this disease and to more fully delineate its natural history and risk for progression.
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Pathogenesis of immunoglobulin A nephropathy.
Curr. Opin. Nephrol. Hypertens.
PUBLISHED: 03-21-2013
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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In this article, we review recent findings on the pathogenesis and genetics of immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy. RECENT FINDINGS: During the past 2 years, the understanding of the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy has evolved as a result of progress in technology and new tools that have been developed. Since 1968, when IgA nephropathy was described as an IgA-IgG immune-complex disease, the knowledge base expanded to allow definition of IgA nephropathy as an autoimmune disease with a multihit pathogenetic process. Specifically, galactose-deficient immunoglobulin A1 (IgA1) is recognized by unique autoantibodies, resulting in the formation of pathogenic immune complexes that ultimately deposit in the glomerular mesangium and induce renal injury. New approaches using high-resolution mass spectrometry have provided unique insight at the molecular level into IgA1 O-glycosylation. Cutting-edge genome-wide association studies revealed multiple disease-associated risk loci and have mapped their geographic and racial distribution. SUMMARY: Recent studies of molecular and genetic defects operating in IgA nephropathy can define new biomarkers specific for the disease that can be developed into clinical assays to aid in the diagnosis, assessment of prognosis, and monitoring of disease progression. Moreover, disease-specific targets are being discovered that may lead to development of new approaches for treatment.
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Naturally occurring structural isomers in serum IgA1 o-glycosylation.
J. Proteome Res.
PUBLISHED: 12-29-2011
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IgA is the most abundantly produced antibody and plays an important role in the mucosal immune system. Human IgA is represented by two isotypes, IgA1 and IgA2. The major structural difference between these two subclasses is the presence of nine potential sites of O-glycosylation in the hinge region between the first and second constant region domains of the heavy chain. Thr(225), Thr(228), Ser(230), Ser(232) and Thr(236) have been identified as the predominant sites of O-glycan attachment. The range and distribution of O-glycan chains at each site within the context of adjacent sites in this clustered region create a complex heterogeneity of surface epitopes that is incompletely defined. We previously described the analysis of IgA1 O-glycan heterogeneity by use of high resolution LC-MS and electron capture dissociation tandem MS to unambiguously localize all amino acid attachment sites in IgA1 (Ale) myeloma protein. Here, we report the identification and elucidation of IgA1 O-glycopeptide structural isomers that occur based on amino acid position of the attached glycans (positional isomers) and the structure of the O-glycan chains at individual sites (glycan isomers). These isomers are present in a model IgA1 (Mce1) myeloma protein and occur naturally in normal human serum IgA1. Variable O-glycan chains attached to Ser(230), Thr(233) or Thr(236) produce the predominant positional isomers, including O-glycans composed of a single GalNAc residue. These findings represent the first definitive identification of structural isomeric IgA1 O-glycoforms, define the single-site heterogeneity for all O-glycan sites in a single sample, and have implications for defining epitopes based on clustered O-glycan variability.
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Sugars and alcohol: IgA-associated renal diseases in alcoholic cirrhosis.
Kidney Int.
PUBLISHED: 12-01-2011
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Tissandié and colleagues report in this issue on their studies of IgA1 glycosylation and biological activities of IgA1-containing circulating immune complexes in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis who developed secondary renal disease with IgA deposits, secondary IgA nephropathy. Their seminal findings demonstrate abnormal glycosylation of IgA1 N-linked as well as O-linked glycans. Furthermore, their work reveals unique biological properties of immune complexes in these patients as compared with those in patients with primary IgA nephropathy.
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Membrane-assisted online renaturation for automated microfluidic lectin blotting.
J. Am. Chem. Soc.
PUBLISHED: 11-18-2011
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Aberrant glycosylation plays a pivotal role in a diverse set of diseases, including cancer. A microfluidic lectin blotting platform is introduced to enable and expedite the identification of protein glycosylation based on protein size and affinity for specific lectins. The integrated multistage assay eliminates manual intervention steps required for slab-gel lectin blotting, increases total assay throughput, limits reagent and sample consumption, and is completed using one instrument. The assay comprises non-reducing sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) followed by online post-sizing SDS filtration and lectin-based affinity blotting. Important functionality is conferred through both device and assay advances that enable integration of nanoporous membranes flanking a central microchamber to create sub-nanoliter volume compartments that trap SDS-protein complexes and allow electrophoretic SDS removal with buffer exchange. Recapitulation of protein binding for lectin was optimized through quantitative assessment of SDS-treated green fluorescent protein. Immunoglobulin A1 aberrantly glycosylated with galactose-deficient O-glycans was probed in ~6 min using ~3 ?L of sample. This new microfluidic lectin blotting platform provides a rapid and automated assay for the assessment of aberrant glycosylation.
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APOL1 variants increase risk for FSGS and HIVAN but not IgA nephropathy.
J. Am. Soc. Nephrol.
PUBLISHED: 10-13-2011
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A chromosome 22q13 locus strongly associates with increased risk for idiopathic focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), HIV-1-associated nephropathy (HIVAN), and hypertensive ESRD among individuals of African descent. Although initial studies implicated MYH9, more recent analyses localized the strongest association within the neighboring APOL1 gene. In this replication study, we examined the six top-most associated variants in APOL1 and MYH9 in an independent cohort of African Americans with various nephropathies (44 with FSGS, 21 with HIVAN, 32 with IgA nephropathy, and 74 healthy controls). All six variants associated with FSGS and HIVAN (additive ORs, 1.8 to 3.0; P values 3 × 10(-2) to 5 × 10(-5)) but not with IgA nephropathy. In conditional and haplotype analyses, two APOL1 haplotypes accounted for virtually all of the association with FSGS and HIVAN on chromosome 22q13 (haplotype P value = 5.6 × 10(-8)). To assess the role of MYH9 deficiency in nephropathy, we crossbred Myh9-haploinsufficient mice (Myh9(+/-)) with HIV-1 transgenic mice. Myh9(+/-) mice were healthy and did not demonstrate overt proteinuria or nephropathy, irrespective of the presence of the HIV-1 transgene. These data further support the strong association of genetic variants in APOL1 with susceptibility to FSGS and HIVAN among African Americans.
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The pathophysiology of IgA nephropathy.
J. Am. Soc. Nephrol.
PUBLISHED: 09-23-2011
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Here we discuss recent advances in understanding the biochemical, immunologic, and genetic pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy, the most common primary glomerulonephritis. Current data indicate that at least four processes contribute to development of IgA nephropathy. Patients with IgA nephropathy often have a genetically determined increase in circulating levels of IgA1 with galactose-deficient O-glycans in the hinge-region (Hit 1). This glycosylation aberrancy is, however, not sufficient to induce renal injury. Synthesis and binding of antibodies directed against galactose-deficient IgA1 are required for formation of immune complexes that accumulate in the glomerular mesangium (Hits 2 and 3). These immune complexes activate mesangial cells, inducing proliferation and secretion of extracellular matrix, cytokines, and chemokines, which result in renal injury (Hit 4). Recent genome-wide association studies identify five distinct susceptibility loci--in the MHC on chromosome 6p21, the complement factor H locus on chromosome 1q32, and in a cluster of genes on chromosome 22q22--that potentially influence these processes and contain candidate mediators of disease. The significant variation in prevalence of risk alleles among different populations may also explain some of the sizable geographic variation in disease prevalence. Elucidation of the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy provides an opportunity to develop disease-specific therapies.
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Aberrant glycosylation of IgA1 and anti-glycan antibodies in IgA nephropathy: role of mucosal immune system.
Adv. Otorhinolaryngol.
PUBLISHED: 08-18-2011
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IgA nephropathy (IgAN), the most common glomerulonephritis, is characterized by mesangial IgA1-containing immunodeposits, proliferation of mesangial cells, and matrix expansion. Clinical onset is frequently heralded by synpharyngitic hematuria, macroscopic hematuria during an upper-respiratory tract infection. Clinical and laboratory data support a postulated extrarenal origin of the glomerular IgA1, likely derived from circulating immune complexes containing polymeric IgA1, deficient in galactose in the hinge-region O-glycans, bound by antiglycan antibodies. This aberrant IgA1 is produced by IgA1-secreting cells with abnormal activities of specific glycosyltransferases. The galactose deficiency affects IgA1 induced by mucosal antigens and elevated circulating levels of this abnormal IgA1 are hereditable, suggesting interactions of genetic and environmental factors. An abnormal mucosal immune response resulting in production of galactose-deficient IgA1 in IgAN patients is supported by several observations: the aberrant glycosylation affects mostly polymeric IgA1 produced by mucosal-associated IgA1-secreting cells (including those from tonsils), the synpharyngitic nature of the macroscopic hematuria, and the association of disease severity with polymorphisms of a pattern-recognition receptor, TLR9. Thus, IgAN is an auto-immune disease, induced by mesangial deposition of circulating complexes containing galactose-deficient IgA1. The aberrant glycosylation of IgA1 may reflect abnormal mucosal immune responses to infections of the upper respiratory tract in genetically predisposed individuals.
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IgA1 immune complexes from pediatric patients with IgA nephropathy activate cultured human mesangial cells.
Nephrol. Dial. Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 08-09-2011
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Circulating immune complexes (CIC) containing galactose (Gal)-deficient IgA1 from adults with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) induce proliferation of cultured mesangial cells, but activities of CIC from pediatric patients with the disease have not been studied.
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Oxidative stress and galactose-deficient IgA1 as markers of progression in IgA nephropathy.
Clin J Am Soc Nephrol
PUBLISHED: 07-22-2011
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We assessed the activation of the oxidative stress pathway in patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN), while evaluating the classic marker of the disease (galactose-deficient serum IgA1).
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Mice overexpressing BAFF develop a commensal flora-dependent, IgA-associated nephropathy.
J. Clin. Invest.
PUBLISHED: 07-13-2011
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B cell activation factor of the TNF family (BAFF) is a potent B cell survival factor. BAFF overexpressing transgenic mice (BAFF-Tg mice) exhibit features of autoimmune disease, including B cell hyperplasia and hypergammaglobulinemia, and develop fatal nephritis with age. However, basal serum IgA levels are also elevated, suggesting that the pathology in these mice may be more complex than initially appreciated. Consistent with this, we demonstrate here that BAFF-Tg mice have mesangial deposits of IgA along with high circulating levels of polymeric IgA that is aberrantly glycosylated. Renal disease in BAFF-Tg mice was associated with IgA, because serum IgA was highly elevated in nephritic mice and BAFF-Tg mice with genetic deletion of IgA exhibited less renal pathology. The presence of commensal flora was essential for the elevated serum IgA phenotype, and, unexpectedly, commensal bacteria-reactive IgA antibodies were found in the blood. These data illustrate how excess B cell survival signaling perturbs the normal balance with the microbiota, leading to a breach in the normal mucosal-peripheral compartmentalization. Such breaches may predispose the nonmucosal system to certain immune diseases. Indeed, we found that a subset of patients with IgA nephropathy had elevated serum levels of a proliferation inducing ligand (APRIL), a cytokine related to BAFF. These parallels between BAFF-Tg mice and human IgA nephropathy may provide a new framework to explore connections between mucosal environments and renal pathology.
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Validation of the Oxford classification of IgA nephropathy.
Kidney Int.
PUBLISHED: 05-04-2011
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The Oxford classification of IgA nephropathy (IgAN) identified four pathological elements that were of prognostic value and additive to known clinical and laboratory variables in predicting patient outcome. These features are segmental glomerulosclerosis/adhesion, mesangial hypercellularity, endocapillary proliferation, and tubular atrophy/interstitial fibrosis. Here, we tested the Oxford results using an independent cohort of 187 adults and children with IgAN from 4 centers in North America by comparing the performance of the logistic regression model and the predictive value of each of the four lesions in both data sets. The cohorts had similar clinical and histological findings, presentations, and clinicopathological correlations. During follow-up, however, the North American cohort received more immunosuppressive and antihypertensive therapies. Identifying patients with a rapid decline in the rate of renal function using the logistic model from the original study in the validation data set was good (c-statistic 0.75), although less precise than in the original study (0.82). Individually, each pathological variable offered the same predictive value in both cohorts except mesangial hypercellularity, which was a weaker predictor. Thus, this North American cohort validated the Oxford IgAN classification and supports its utilization. Further studies are needed to determine the relationship to the impact of treatment and to define the value of the mesangial hypercellularity score.
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Genetic determinants of mycophenolate-related anemia and leukopenia after transplantation.
Transplantation
PUBLISHED: 03-08-2011
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Mycophenolate-related anemia and leukopenia are well-known toxicities after transplantation. Toxicity leads to dose reduction, addition of colony-stimulating factors or erythropoietin, or discontinuation of immunosuppressive therapy. The causes of and risk factors associated with toxicity are unclear.
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Aberrant glycosylation of IgA1 is inherited in both pediatric IgA nephropathy and Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis.
Kidney Int.
PUBLISHED: 02-16-2011
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Serum galactose-deficient immunoglobulin A1 (Gd-IgA1) is an inherited risk factor for adult IgA nephropathy (IgAN). In this paper, we determined the heritability of serum Gd-IgA1 levels in children with IgAN and Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis (HSPN), two disorders with clinical phenotypes sharing common pathogenic mechanisms. Serum Gd-IgA1 concentrations were quantified using a Helix aspersa-lectin-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. As a group, 34 children with either disorder (20 with HSPN and 14 with IgAN) had significantly higher Gd-IgA1 levels compared with 51 age- and ethnicity-matched pediatric controls. Serum levels of Gd-IgA1 were also elevated in a large fraction of 54 first-degree relatives of pediatric IgAN and HSPN patients compared with 141 unrelated healthy adult controls. A unilineal transmission of the trait was found in 17, bilineal transmission in 1, and sporadic occurrence in 5 of 23 families when both parents and the patient were analyzed. There was a significant age-, gender-, and household-adjusted heritability of serum galactose-deficient IgA1 estimated at 76% in pediatric IgAN and at 64% in HSPN patients. Thus, serum galactose-deficient IgA1 levels are highly inherited in pediatric patients with IgAN and HSPN, providing support for another shared pathogenic link between these disorders.
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Genome-wide association study identifies susceptibility loci for IgA nephropathy.
Nat. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 02-15-2011
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We carried out a genome-wide association study of IgA nephropathy, a major cause of kidney failure worldwide. We studied 1,194 cases and 902 controls of Chinese Han ancestry, with targeted follow up in Chinese and European cohorts comprising 1,950 cases and 1,920 controls. We identified three independent loci in the major histocompatibility complex, as well as a common deletion of CFHR1 and CFHR3 at chromosome 1q32 and a locus at chromosome 22q12 that each surpassed genome-wide significance (P values for association between 1.59 × 10?²? and 4.84 × 10?? and minor allele odds ratios of 0.63-0.80). These five loci explain 4-7% of the disease variance and up to a tenfold variation in interindividual risk. Many of the alleles that protect against IgA nephropathy impart increased risk for other autoimmune or infectious diseases, and IgA nephropathy risk allele frequencies closely parallel the variation in disease prevalence among Asian, European and African populations, suggesting complex selective pressures.
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Novel polymorphisms associated with tacrolimus trough concentrations: results from a multicenter kidney transplant consortium.
Transplantation
PUBLISHED: 01-06-2011
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The CYP4503A5*1 genotype is associated with lower tacrolimus concentrations. Although its effect is important, it incompletely explains the variability in tacrolimus concentrations and has a relatively low minor allele frequency in whites relative to African Americans (AA).
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Clustered O-glycans of IgA1: defining macro- and microheterogeneity by use of electron capture/transfer dissociation.
Mol. Cell Proteomics
PUBLISHED: 09-07-2010
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IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is the most common primary glomerulonephritis in the world. Aberrantly glycosylated IgA1, with galactose (Gal)-deficient hinge region (HR) O-glycans, plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of the disease. It is not known whether the glycosylation defect occurs randomly or preferentially at specific sites. We have described the utility of activated ion-electron capture dissociation (AI-ECD) mass spectrometric analysis of IgA1 O-glycosylation. However, locating and characterizing the entire range of O-glycan attachment sites are analytically challenging due to the clustered serine and threonine residues in the HR of IgA1 heavy chain. To address this problem, we analyzed all glycoforms of the HR glycopeptides of a Gal-deficient IgA1 myeloma protein, mimicking the aberrant IgA1 in patients with IgAN, by use of a combination of IgA-specific proteases + trypsin and AI-ECD Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). The IgA-specific proteases provided a variety of IgA1 HR fragments that allowed unambiguous localization of all O-glycosylation sites in the six most abundant glycoforms, including the sites deficient in Gal. Additionally, this protocol was adapted for on-line liquid chromatography (LC)-AI-ECD MS/MS and LC-electron transfer dissociation MS/MS analysis. Our results thus represent a new clinically relevant approach that requires ECD/electron transfer dissociation-type fragmentation to define the molecular events leading to pathogenesis of a chronic kidney disease. Furthermore, this work offers generally applicable principles for the analysis of clustered sites of O-glycosylation.
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Recommendations for biomarker identification and qualification in clinical proteomics.
Sci Transl Med
PUBLISHED: 08-27-2010
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Clinical proteomics has yielded some early positive results-the identification of potential disease biomarkers-indicating the promise for this analytical approach to improve the current state of the art in clinical practice. However, the inability to verify some candidate molecules in subsequent studies has led to skepticism among many clinicians and regulatory bodies, and it has become evident that commonly encountered shortcomings in fundamental aspects of experimental design mainly during biomarker discovery must be addressed in order to provide robust data. In this Perspective, we assert that successful studies generally use suitable statistical approaches for biomarker definition and confirm results in independent test sets; in addition, we describe a brief set of practical and feasible recommendations that we have developed for investigators to properly identify and qualify proteomic biomarkers, which could also be used as reporting requirements. Such recommendations should help put proteomic biomarker discovery on the solid ground needed for turning the old promise into a new reality.
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Galactose-deficient IgA1 in African Americans with IgA nephropathy: serum levels and heritability.
Clin J Am Soc Nephrol
PUBLISHED: 07-15-2010
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Serum levels of galactose-deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1) are elevated and heritable in Caucasian and Asian patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN), but have not been characterized in African Americans (AA). Our objective was to determine whether serum Gd-IgA1 levels are increased in AA patients with IgAN and whether this is a heritable trait in this group.
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Naturally occurring human urinary peptides for use in diagnosis of chronic kidney disease.
Mol. Cell Proteomics
PUBLISHED: 07-08-2010
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Because of its availability, ease of collection, and correlation with physiology and pathology, urine is an attractive source for clinical proteomics/peptidomics. However, the lack of comparable data sets from large cohorts has greatly hindered the development of clinical proteomics. Here, we report the establishment of a reproducible, high resolution method for peptidome analysis of naturally occurring human urinary peptides and proteins, ranging from 800 to 17,000 Da, using samples from 3,600 individuals analyzed by capillary electrophoresis coupled to MS. All processed data were deposited in an Structured Query Language (SQL) database. This database currently contains 5,010 relevant unique urinary peptides that serve as a pool of potential classifiers for diagnosis and monitoring of various diseases. As an example, by using this source of information, we were able to define urinary peptide biomarkers for chronic kidney diseases, allowing diagnosis of these diseases with high accuracy. Application of the chronic kidney disease-specific biomarker set to an independent test cohort in the subsequent replication phase resulted in 85.5% sensitivity and 100% specificity. These results indicate the potential usefulness of capillary electrophoresis coupled to MS for clinical applications in the analysis of naturally occurring urinary peptides.
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Recognition of galactose-deficient O-glycans in the hinge region of IgA1 by N-acetylgalactosamine-specific snail lectins: a comparative binding study.
Biochemistry
PUBLISHED: 05-29-2010
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Aberrancies in IgA1 glycosylation have been linked to the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy (IgAN), a kidney disease characterized by deposits of IgA1-containing immune complexes in the glomerular mesangium. IgA1 from IgAN patients is characterized by the presence of galactose (Gal)-deficient O-glycans in the hinge region that can act as epitopes for anti-glycan IgG or IgA1 antibodies. The resulting circulating immune complexes are trapped in the glomerular mesangium of the kidney where they trigger localized inflammatory responses by activating mesangial cells. Certain lectins recognize the terminal N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc)-containing O-glycans on Gal-deficient IgA1 and can be potentially used as diagnostic tools. To improve our understanding of GalNAc recognition by these lectins, we have conducted binding studies to assess the interaction of Helix aspersa agglutinin (HAA) and Helix pomatia agglutinin (HPA) with Gal-deficient IgA1. Surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy revealed that both HAA and HPA bind to a Gal-deficient synthetic hinge region glycopeptide (HR-GalNAc) as well as various aberrantly glycosylated IgA1 myeloma proteins. Despite having six binding sites, both HAA and HPA bind IgA1 in a functionally bivalent manner, with the apparent affinity for IgA1 related to the number of exposed GalNAc groups in the IgA1 hinge. Finally, HAA and HPA were shown to discriminate very effectively between the IgA1 secreted by cell lines derived from peripheral blood cells of patients with IgAN and that from cells of healthy controls. These studies provide insight into lectin recognition of the Gal-deficient IgA1 hinge region and lay the groundwork for the development of reliable diagnostic tools for IgAN.
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The Oxford IgA nephropathy clinicopathological classification is valid for children as well as adults.
Kidney Int.
PUBLISHED: 03-03-2010
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To study the predictive value of biopsy lesions in IgA nephropathy in a range of patient ages we retrospectively analyzed the cohort that was used to derive a new classification system for IgA nephropathy. A total of 206 adults and 59 children with proteinuria over 0.5 g/24 h/1.73 m(2) and an eGFR of stage-3 or better were followed for a median of 69 months. At the time of biopsy, compared with adults children had a more frequent history of macroscopic hematuria, lower adjusted blood pressure, and higher eGFR but similar proteinuria. Although their outcome was similar to that of adults, children had received more immunosuppressants and achieved a lower follow-up proteinuria. Renal biopsies were scored for variables identified by an iterative process as reproducible and independent of other lesions. Compared with adults, children had significantly more mesangial and endocapillary hypercellularity, and less segmental glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial damage, the four variables previously identified to predict outcome independent of clinical assessment. Despite these differences, our study found that the cross-sectional correlation between pathology and proteinuria was similar in adults and children. The predictive value of each specific lesion on the rate of decline of renal function or renal survival in IgA nephropathy was not different between children and adults.
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Genetic studies of IgA nephropathy: past, present, and future.
Pediatr. Nephrol.
PUBLISHED: 01-30-2010
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Immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) is the most common form of primary glomerulonephritis worldwide and an important cause of kidney disease in young adults. Highly variable clinical presentation and outcome of IgAN suggest that this diagnosis may encompass multiple subsets of disease that are not distinguishable by currently available clinical tools. Marked differences in disease prevalence between individuals of European, Asian, and African ancestry suggest the existence of susceptibility genes that are present at variable frequencies in these populations. Familial forms of IgAN have also been reported throughout the world but are probably underrecognized because associated urinary abnormalities are often intermittent in affected family members. Of the many pathogenic mechanisms reported, defects in IgA1 glycosylation that lead to formation of immune complexes have been consistently demonstrated. Recent data indicates that these IgA1 glycosylation defects are inherited and constitute a heritable risk factor for IgAN. Because of the complex genetic architecture of IgAN, the efforts to map disease susceptibility genes have been difficult, and no causative mutations have yet been identified. Linkage-based approaches have been hindered by disease heterogeneity and lack of a reliable noninvasive diagnostic test for screening family members at risk of IgAN. Many candidate-gene association studies have been published, but most suffer from small sample size and methodological problems, and none of the results have been convincingly validated. New genomic approaches, including genome-wide association studies currently under way, offer promising tools for elucidating the genetic basis of IgAN.
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Glomerulonephritis after hematopoietic cell transplantation: IgA nephropathy with increased excretion of galactose-deficient IgA1.
Nephrol. Dial. Transplant.
PUBLISHED: 01-12-2010
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We report the development of IgA nephropathy (IgAN) following full myeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in two patients with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matched sibling donors, unrelated to active or chronic graft-versus-host disease. Both recipients had elevated urinary levels of galactose-deficient IgA1, and one donor-recipient pair had elevated serum levels of galactose-deficient IgA1. We propose that IgAN developed after bone marrow transplantation due to a non-graft-versus-host-disease-related multi-hit process associated with glomerular deposition of galactose-deficient IgA1. These two cases provide unique insight into the kinetics of overproduction of galactose-deficient IgA1 and its glomerular deposition and consequential renal injury in IgAN.
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Risk factors and impact of recurrent lupus nephritis in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus undergoing renal transplantation: data from a single US institution.
Arthritis Rheum.
PUBLISHED: 08-29-2009
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To determine the risk factors for recurrent lupus nephritis, allograft loss, and survival among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) undergoing kidney transplantation.
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Sources of Urinary Proteins and their Analysis by Urinary Proteomics for the Detection of Biomarkers of Disease.
Proteomics Clin Appl
PUBLISHED: 08-19-2009
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Renal disorders account for a substantial fraction of the budget for health care in many countries. Proteinuria is a frequent manifestation in afflicted patients, but the origin of the proteins varies based on the nature of the disorder. The emerging field of urinary proteomics has the potential to replace kidney biopsy as the diagnostic procedure of choice for patients with some glomerular forms of renal disease. To fully realize this potential, it is vital to understand the basis for the urinary excretion of protein in physiological and pathological conditions. In this review, we discuss the structure of the nephron, the functional unit of the kidney, and the process by which proteins/peptides enter the urine. We discuss several aspects of proteinuria that impact the proteomic analysis of urine of patients with renal diseases.
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The Oxford classification of IgA nephropathy: rationale, clinicopathological correlations, and classification.
Kidney Int.
PUBLISHED: 07-01-2009
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IgA nephropathy is the most common glomerular disease worldwide, yet there is no international consensus for its pathological or clinical classification. Here a new classification for IgA nephropathy is presented by an international consensus working group. The goal of this new system was to identify specific pathological features that more accurately predict risk of progression of renal disease in IgA nephropathy, thus enabling both clinicians and pathologists to improve individual patient prognostication. In a retrospective analysis, sequential clinical data were obtained on 265 adults and children with IgA nephropathy who were followed for a median of 5 years. Renal biopsies from all patients were scored by pathologists blinded to the clinical data for pathological variables identified as reproducible by an iterative process. Four of these variables: (1) the mesangial hypercellularity score, (2) segmental glomerulosclerosis, (3) endocapillary hypercellularity, and (4) tubular atrophy/interstitial fibrosis were subsequently shown to have independent value in predicting renal outcome. These specific pathological features withstood rigorous statistical analysis even after taking into account all clinical indicators available at the time of biopsy as well as during follow-up. The features have prognostic significance and we recommended they be taken into account for predicting outcome independent of the clinical features both at the time of presentation and during follow-up. The value of crescents was not addressed due to their low prevalence in the enrolled cohort.
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The Oxford classification of IgA nephropathy: pathology definitions, correlations, and reproducibility.
Kidney Int.
PUBLISHED: 07-01-2009
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Pathological classifications in current use for the assessment of glomerular disease have been typically opinion-based and built on the expert assumptions of renal pathologists about lesions historically thought to be relevant to prognosis. Here we develop a unique approach for the pathological classification of a glomerular disease, IgA nephropathy, in which renal pathologists first undertook extensive iterative work to define pathologic variables with acceptable inter-observer reproducibility. Where groups of such features closely correlated, variables were further selected on the basis of least susceptibility to sampling error and ease of scoring in routine practice. This process identified six pathologic variables that could then be used to interrogate prognostic significance independent of the clinical data in IgA nephropathy (described in the accompanying article). These variables were (1) mesangial cellularity score; percentage of glomeruli showing (2) segmental sclerosis, (3) endocapillary hypercellularity, or (4) cellular/fibrocellular crescents; (5) percentage of interstitial fibrosis/tubular atrophy; and finally (6) arteriosclerosis score. Results for interobserver reproducibility of individual pathological features are likely applicable to other glomerulonephritides, but it is not known if the correlations between variables depend on the specific type of glomerular pathobiology. Variables identified in this study withstood rigorous pathology review and statistical testing and we recommend that they become a necessary part of pathology reports for IgA nephropathy. Our methodology, translating a strong evidence-based dataset into a working format, is a model for developing classifications of other types of renal disease.
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Aberrantly glycosylated IgA1 in IgA nephropathy patients is recognized by IgG antibodies with restricted heterogeneity.
J. Clin. Invest.
PUBLISHED: 01-05-2009
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IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is characterized by circulating immune complexes composed of galactose-deficient IgA1 and a glycan-specific IgG antibody. These immune complexes deposit in the glomerular mesangium and induce the mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis characteristic of IgAN. To define the precise specificities and molecular properties of the IgG antibodies, we generated EBV-immortalized IgG-secreting lymphocytes from patients with IgAN and found that the secreted IgG formed complexes with galactose-deficient IgA1 in a glycan-dependent manner. We cloned and sequenced the heavy- and light-chain antigen-binding domains of IgG specific for galactose-deficient IgA1 and identified an A to S substitution in the complementarity-determining region 3 of the variable region of the gene encoding the IgG heavy chain in IgAN patients. Furthermore, site-directed mutagenesis that reverted the residue to alanine reduced the binding of recombinant IgG to galactose-deficient IgA1. Finally, we developed a dot-blot assay for the glycan-specific IgG antibody that differentiated patients with IgAN from healthy and disease controls with 88% specificity and 95% sensitivity and found that elevated levels of this antibody in the sera of patients with IgAN correlated with proteinuria. Collectively, these findings indicate that glycan-specific antibodies are associated with the development of IgAN and may represent a disease-specific marker and potential therapeutic target.
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IgA nephropathy: molecular mechanisms of the disease.
Annu Rev Pathol
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Studies of molecular and cellular interactions involved in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy have revealed the autoimmune nature of this most common primary glomerulonephritis. In patients with this disease, altered glycan structures in the unique hinge region of the heavy chains of IgA1 molecules lead to the exposure of antigenic determinants, which are recognized by naturally occurring antiglycan antibodies of the IgG and/or IgA1 isotype. As a result, nephritogenic immune complexes form in the circulation and deposit in the glomerular mesangium. Deposited immune complexes induce proliferation of resident mesangial cells, increased production of extracellular matrix proteins and cytokines, and ultimately loss of glomerular function. Structural elucidation of the nature of these immune complexes and their biological activity should provide a rational basis for an effective, immunologically mediated inhibition of the formation of nephritogenic immune complexes that could be used as a disease-specific therapeutic approach.
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Association of IgG co-deposition with serum levels of galactose-deficient IgA1 in pediatric IgA nephropathy.
Clin. Nephrol.
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To determine whether the absence of mesangial IgG deposits is associated with the absence of elevated blood levels of galactose-deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1) in pediatric patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN).
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The IgA1 immune complex-mediated activation of the MAPK/ERK kinase pathway in mesangial cells is associated with glomerular damage in IgA nephropathy.
Kidney Int.
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IgA nephropathy (IgAN), the most common primary glomerulonephritis worldwide, has significant morbidity and mortality as 20-40% of patients progress to end-stage renal disease within 20 years of onset. In order to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of IgAN, we systematically evaluated renal biopsies from such patients. This showed that the MAPK/ERK signaling pathway was activated in the mesangium of patients presenting with over 1 g/day proteinuria and elevated blood pressure, but absent in biopsy specimens of patients with IgAN and modest proteinuria (<1 g/day). ERK activation was not associated with elevated galactose-deficient IgA1 or IgG specific for galactose-deficient IgA1 in the serum. In human mesangial cells in vitro, ERK activation through mesangial IgA1 receptor (CD71) controlled pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion and was induced by large-molecular-mass IgA1-containing circulating immune complexes purified from patient sera. Moreover, IgA1-dependent ERK activation required renin-angiotensin system as its blockade was efficient in reducing proteinuria in those patients exhibiting substantial mesangial activation of ERK. Thus, ERK activation alters mesangial cell-podocyte crosstalk, leading to renal dysfunction in IgAN. Assessment of MAPK/ERK activation in diagnostic renal biopsies may predict the therapeutic efficacy of renin-angiotensin system blockers in IgAN.
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Autoantibodies targeting galactose-deficient IgA1 associate with progression of IgA nephropathy.
J. Am. Soc. Nephrol.
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Mesangial and circulating IgA1 with aberrantly glycosylated hinge region O-glycans characterize IgA nephropathy (IgAN). Unlike healthy individuals, some IgA1 is galactose deficient in patients with IgAN, leaving terminal N-acetylgalactosamine residues in the hinge region exposed. Circulating autoantibodies that recognize such galactose-deficient IgA1 as an autoantigen, or the levels of the autoantigen itself, may allow prediction of disease progression. Here, we analyzed serum samples obtained at diagnosis for autoantigen and autoantibodies from 97 patients with IgAN selected from our prospective cohort according to their absolute renal risk for progression to dialysis or death (0, very low; 1, low; 2, high; 3, very high). We also analyzed samples from controls comprising 30 healthy volunteers and 30 patients with non-IgAN disease. The mean follow-up was 13.8 years. We found that mean serum levels of total autoantigen, normalized IgG autoantibody, and total IgA autoantibody were significantly higher in patients than in the combined controls (all P?0.01). Furthermore, increasing levels correlated with worse clinical outcomes. In Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier analyses, IgG autoantibody levels ?1.33 predicted dialysis or death (both P?0.01). In conclusion, these data suggest that serum levels of IgG and IgA autoantibodies strongly associate with the progression of IgAN nephropathy.
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Serum galactose-deficient IgA1 level is not associated with proteinuria in children with IgA nephropathy.
Int J Nephrol
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Introduction. Percentage of galactose-deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1) relative to total IgA in serum was recently reported to correlate with proteinuria at time of sampling and during follow-up for pediatric and adult patients with IgA nephropathy. We sought to determine whether this association exists in another cohort of pediatric patients with IgA nephropathy. Methods. Subjects were younger than 18 years at entry. Blood samples were collected on one or more occasions for determination of serum total IgA and Gd-IgA1. Gd-IgA1 was expressed as serum level and percent of total IgA. Urinary protein/creatinine ratio was calculated for random specimens. Spearmans correlation coefficients assessed the relationship between study variables. Results. The cohort had 29 Caucasians and 11 African-Americans with a male?:?female ratio of 1.9?:?1. Mean age at diagnosis was 11.7 ± 3.7 years. No statistically significant correlation was identified between serum total IgA, Gd-IgA1, or percent Gd-IgA1 versus urinary protein/creatinine ratio determined contemporaneously with biopsy or between average serum Gd-IgA1 or average percent Gd-IgA1 and time-average urinary protein/creatinine ratio. Conclusion. The magnitude of proteinuria in this cohort of pediatric patients with IgA nephropathy was influenced by factors other than Gd-IgA1 level, consistent with the proposed multi-hit pathogenetic pathways for this renal disease.
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Geographic differences in genetic susceptibility to IgA nephropathy: GWAS replication study and geospatial risk analysis.
PLoS Genet.
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IgA nephropathy (IgAN), major cause of kidney failure worldwide, is common in Asians, moderately prevalent in Europeans, and rare in Africans. It is not known if these differences represent variation in genes, environment, or ascertainment. In a recent GWAS, we localized five IgAN susceptibility loci on Chr.6p21 (HLA-DQB1/DRB1, PSMB9/TAP1, and DPA1/DPB2 loci), Chr.1q32 (CFHR3/R1 locus), and Chr.22q12 (HORMAD2 locus). These IgAN loci are associated with risk of other immune-mediated disorders such as type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or inflammatory bowel disease. We tested association of these loci in eight new independent cohorts of Asian, European, and African-American ancestry (N?=?4,789), followed by meta-analysis with risk-score modeling in 12 cohorts (N?=?10,755) and geospatial analysis in 85 world populations. Four susceptibility loci robustly replicated and all five loci were genome-wide significant in the combined cohort (P?=?5×10?³²-3×10?¹?), with heterogeneity detected only at the PSMB9/TAP1 locus (I²?=?0.60). Conditional analyses identified two new independent risk alleles within the HLA-DQB1/DRB1 locus, defining multiple risk and protective haplotypes within this interval. We also detected a significant genetic interaction, whereby the odds ratio for the HORMAD2 protective allele was reversed in homozygotes for a CFHR3/R1 deletion (P?=?2.5×10??). A seven-SNP genetic risk score, which explained 4.7% of overall IgAN risk, increased sharply with Eastward and Northward distance from Africa (r?=?0.30, P?=?3×10?¹²?). This model paralleled the known East-West gradient in disease risk. Moreover, the prediction of a South-North axis was confirmed by registry data showing that the prevalence of IgAN-attributable kidney failure is increased in Northern Europe, similar to multiple sclerosis and type I diabetes. Variation at IgAN susceptibility loci correlates with differences in disease prevalence among world populations. These findings inform genetic, biological, and epidemiological investigations of IgAN and permit cross-comparison with other complex traits that share genetic risk loci and geographic patterns with IgAN.
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Glycosylation of IgA1 and pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy.
Semin Immunopathol
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IgA nephropathy, described in 1968 as IgA-IgG immune-complex disease, is an autoimmune disease. Galactose-deficient IgA1 is recognized by unique autoantibodies, resulting in the formation of pathogenic immune complexes that ultimately induce glomerular injury. Thus, formation of the galactose-deficient IgA1-containing immune complexes is a critical factor in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy. Studies of molecular defects of IgA1 can define new biomarkers specific for IgA nephropathy that can be developed into clinical assays to aid in the diagnosis, assessment of prognosis, and monitoring of disease progression.
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