Podocyte biology in human disease


Dr Janak de Zoysa, Department of Renal Medicine, Auckland City Hospital, Park Road, Grafton, Private Bag 92024, Auckland, New Zealand. Email: janakz@adhb.govt.nz


SUMMARY:  The podocyte is a highly specialized cell that plays a key role in regulating the glomerular filtration barrier. A number of advances have been made in recent years, linked to the discovery of single-gene defects in hereditary glomerular disease, which highlight the role of this cell in preventing proteinuria. This article reviews the molecular biology of the podocyte, focusing on known genetic abnormalities.