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Genome Biol 2008 Jan 01;95:R84. doi: 10.1186/gb-2008-9-5-r84.
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Organization of the pronephric kidney revealed by large-scale gene expression mapping.

Raciti D , Reggiani L , Geffers L , Jiang Q , Bacchion F , Subrizi AE , Clements D , Tindal C , Davidson DR , Kaissling B , Brändli AW .

BACKGROUND: The pronephros, the simplest form of a vertebrate excretory organ, has recently become an important model of vertebrate kidney organogenesis. Here, we elucidated the nephron organization of the Xenopus pronephros and determined the similarities in segmentation with the metanephros, the adult kidney of mammals. RESULTS: We performed large-scale gene expression mapping of terminal differentiation markers to identify gene expression patterns that define distinct domains of the pronephric kidney. We analyzed the expression of over 240 genes, which included members of the solute carrier, claudin, and aquaporin gene families, as well as selected ion channels. The obtained expression patterns were deposited in the searchable European Renal Genome Project Xenopus Gene Expression Database. We found that 112 genes exhibited highly regionalized expression patterns that were adequate to define the segmental organization of the pronephric nephron. Eight functionally distinct domains were discovered that shared significant analogies in gene expression with the mammalian metanephric nephron. We therefore propose a new nomenclature, which is in line with the mammalian one. The Xenopus pronephric nephron is composed of four basic domains: proximal tubule, intermediate tubule, distal tubule, and connecting tubule. Each tubule may be further subdivided into distinct segments. Finally, we also provide compelling evidence that the expression of key genes underlying inherited renal diseases in humans has been evolutionarily conserved down to the level of the pronephric kidney. CONCLUSION: The present study validates the Xenopus pronephros as a genuine model that may be used to elucidate the molecular basis of nephron segmentation and human renal disease.

PubMed ID: 18492243
PMC ID: PMC2441470
Article link: Genome Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: aqp1 aqp3 aqp4 calb1 clcnkb cldn14 cldn16 cldn19 cldn8.1 cldn8.2 cldn8.4 dct dtl gnl3 haus3 kcnj1 rhcg slc12a1 slc12a3 slc15a2 slc16a7 slc19a2 slc19a3.2 slc1a1 slc20a1 slc25a10 slc26a11 slc26a6 slc26a6.2 slc2a11 slc2a11.2 slc3a1 slc41a3 slc4a4 slc5a1.2 slc5a2 slc5a8 slc6a19 slc7a13 slc7a7 slc7a8 slc8a1 tnfsf13b
GO keywords: kidney development [+]
Antibodies: tal1 Ab1

Disease Ontology terms: kidney disease

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Alper, Subtypes of intercalated cells in rat kidney collecting duct defined by antibodies against erythroid band 3 and renal vacuolar H+-ATPase. 1989, Pubmed