Blocking the Rac1-TRPC5 pathway protects human podocytes


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Podocyte injury and the appearance of proteinuria are key features of several progressive kidney diseases. Genetic deletion or selective inhibition of TRPC5 channels with small-molecule inhibitors protects podocytes in rodent models of disease, but less is known about the human relevance and translatability of TRPC5 inhibition. Here, we investigate the effect of TRPC5 inhibition in puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN)-treated human iPSC-derived podocytes and kidney organoids. We first established that systemic administration of the TRPC5-specific blocker AC1903 was sufficient to protect podocyte cytoskeletal proteins and suppress proteinuria in PAN-induced nephrosis in rats, an established model of podocyte injury and progressive kidney disease. PAN treatment also triggered the Rac1-TRPC5 injury pathway in human iPSC-derived podocytes and kidney organoids. TRPC5 current was recorded in human iPSC-derived podocytes, and was blocked by AC1903. The TRPC5 blocker also reversed the effects of PAN-induced injury in human podocytes in both 2D and 3D culture systems. Taken together, these results revealed the relevance of the TRPC5-Rac1 pathway in human kidney tissue highlighting the potential of this therapeutic strategy for patients. ### Competing Interest Statement Acknowledgements This work was supported by NIH/NIDDK grants DK103658 DK099465 and DK095045 (A.G.). Conflict of interest statement A.G. has a financial interest in Goldfinch Biopharma which was reviewed and is managed by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Partners HealthCare and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in accordance with their conflict of interest policies.
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