A team of scientists consisting of members from universities Royal Holloway, St. George’s University of London and Kingston University London, all in the UK, have discovered that naringenin, a component of citrus, PKD2 regulates protein which is the responsible for polycystic kidney disease and as a result, blocks the formation of cysts.
«It’s an important step forward in understanding how one can control polycystic kidney disease,» said Professor Robin Williams, School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway.
This study demonstrated the efficacy of the amoeba Dictyostelium in the discovery of new treatments and their targets.
Having applied the same test method in our work on epilepsy and bipolar treatment, it is clear that this new approach could help reduce reliance on animal testing and provide significant improvements.
To test how this discovery could be applied in treatments, the team used a cell line and triggered mammalian kidney cyst formation in these cells.
Scientists were able to block the formation of cysts adding naringenin and saw that when the PKD2 protein levels were reduced kidney cells, blocked the formation of cysts, confirming a connection.
Dr. Mark Carew, Faculty of Pharmacy and Chemistry at the University of Kingston, announced: «It has launched additional research to understand the action of naringenin at the molecular level.
This paper will focus on analyzing the PKD2 protein function as a regulator of cell growth. «In fact, this study is a good example of how chemicals identified in plants can help develop new drugs to treat the disease,» said Professor Debbie Baines, University of St. George.
The autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease affects one in ten people on dialysis and one in eight with a kidney transplant.
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