The role of urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) in kidney physiology and pathology has attracted considerable attention. The protein uPAR has dual functions: as a key regulator of plasmin generation and a component of the innate immune system. In the current issue, Wei and colleagues describe a transgenic mouse expressing Plaur RNA in glomerular podocytes. The mice manifested podocyte injury, including c-Src phosphorylation, proteinuria, and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Plaur-transgenic mice on a β3 integrin–deficient background were protected from podocyte injury. Renal biopsies from subjects with FSGS, but not those with other glomerular diseases, manifested increased c-Src phosphorylation in podocytes. These findings suggest a novel injury mechanism in FSGS, with possible implications for new treatment strategies.
Jeffrey B. Kopp, Jurgen Heymann