In recent news, there has been what could be a huge discovery regarding membranous nephropathy. MN is a rare kidney disease that falls under the umbrella term of “Nephrotic Syndrome.” At this point in time, there are still no successful, first-line treatments for this disease. Now, however, researchers have been able to identify the site at which antibodies bind to the kidney and cause damage in patients with MN.
These findings were published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Researchers were able to create a three-dimensional model of the protein, known as PLA2R. PLA2R is a transmembrane glycoprotein, previously identified as the surface protein that allows antibodies to bind on to the kidney. By creating this 3-D model, researchers were able to narrow in and determine the specific area of the PLA2R protein that antibodies bind to. Furthermore, researchers found that small molecules, acting as competitive inhibitors, could block this site and prevent antibodies from actually attaching.
So what does this mean? By knowing where antibodies bind to on the kidney, this open up new possibilities for MN treatments. There are two exciting methods that the article mentions. The first is removing antibodies from the PLA2R binding site once they are present, and the second is preventing antibodies from binding altogether. Ultimately, this article provides insight into a new path from which treatments, and even cures, for MN may come to fruition.
To read more, visit: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150521091747.htm