Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Convoluted Cleaning

CAMSAP3 protein is vital for normal development of the kidney's proximal convoluted tubules

08 April 2021

Convoluted Cleaning

Your kidneys are master cleaners. They filter your blood, clearing out waste products and absorbing vital nutrients and water. Needless to say, this is a complex task that involves an intricate system of tubes and ducts, including structures called the proximal convoluted tubules (PCTs). Researchers now investigate the architecture of PCTs, focusing on a protein called CAMSAP3. CAMSAP3 regulates the formation of a network of proteins called microtubules, which give cells their shape. CAMSAP3 was already known to regulate the structure of epithelial cells lining the intestines. Here researchers show that it also regulates the structure of PCTs. In mice with a mutated Camsap3 gene, scanning electron microscopy of their kidneys revealed that the PCTs were severely dilated (right) compared to normal mice PCTs (left). Mutant PCTs also had cysts and flattened epithelial cells with disorganised microtubules. CAMSAP3 is therefore vital in forming the elaborate structure of the PCT.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

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