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Targeting WIP1 phosphatase promotes partial remission in experimental collapsing glomerulopathy.

Kidney International 2024 Februrary 28
Collapsing focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), also known as collapsing glomerulopathy (CG), is the most aggressive variant of FSGS and is characterized by a rapid progression to kidney failure. Understanding CG pathogenesis represents a key step for the development of targeted therapies. Previous work implicated the telomerase protein component TERT in CG pathogenesis, as transgenic TERT expression in adult mice resulted in a CG resembling that seen in human primary CG and HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN). Here, we used the telomerase-induced mouse model of CG (i-TERTci mice) to identify mechanisms to inhibit CG pathogenesis. Inactivation of WIP1 phosphatase, a p53 target acting in a negative feedback loop, blocked disease initiation in i-TERTci mice. Repression of disease initiation upon WIP1 deficiency was associated with senescence enhancement and required transforming growth factor-β functions. The efficacy of a pharmacologic treatment to reduce disease severity in both i-TERTci mice and in a mouse model of HIVAN (Tg26 mice) was then assessed. Pharmacologic inhibition of WIP1 enzymatic activity in either the telomerase mice with CG or in the Tg26 mice promoted partial remission of proteinuria and ameliorated kidney histopathologic features. Histological as well as high throughput sequencing methods further showed that selective inhibition of WIP1 does not promote kidney fibrosis or inflammation. Thus, our findings suggest that targeting WIP1 may be an effective therapeutic strategy for patients with CG.

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