Expression of BMP-7 and USAG-1 (a BMP antagonist) in kidney development and injury.
Tanaka M., Endo S., Okuda T., Economides AN., Valenzuela DM., Murphy AJ., Robertson E., Sakurai T., Fukatsu A., Yancopoulos GD., Kita T., Yanagita M.
Once developed, end-stage renal disease cannot be reversed by any current therapy. Bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7), however, is a possible treatment for reversing end-stage renal disease. Previously, we showed that the BMP antagonist uterine sensitization-associated gene-1 (USAG-1, also known as ectodin and sclerostin domain-containing 1) negatively regulates the renoprotective action of BMP-7. Here, we show that the ratio between USAG-1 and BMP-7 expression increased dramatically in the later stage of kidney development, with USAG-1 expression overlapping BMP-7 only in differentiated distal tubules. Examination of USAG-1 expression in developing kidney indicated that a mosaic of proximal and distal tubule marker-positive cells reside side by side in the immature nephron. This suggests that each cell controls its own fate for becoming a proximal or distal tubule cell. In kidney injury models, the ratio of USAG-1 to BMP-7 expression decreased with kidney damage but increased after subsequent kidney regeneration. Our study suggests that USAG-1 expression in a kidney biopsy could be useful in predicting outcome.