Using an artificial kidney, we understood how chronic diseases work at the DNA level

A team led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) used

kidney organelles derived from human stem cells to identify genes that are important for proper recovery.

Previously, researchers have experimented withanimals and identified various factors involved in kidney recovery. But it was difficult to extrapolate them to humans and make them part of clinical practice. Many treatments that were considered safe and effective in animals have subsequently been found to be toxic or ineffective in clinical trials. Human kidney organelles, which look like scaled-down real kidneys, could help researchers avoid these problems.

The authors of the new work used on the organoidthe chemotherapy drug cisplatin, which can damage the kidneys. The treatment changed the expression of 159 genes and 29 signaling pathways in kidney cells. Many of the identified genes, including two - FA NCD2 and Rad51 - were activated during repair, but their expression decreased as the damage became irreversible.

These genes code for proteins that play an important role in DNA repair. Additional experiments in mouse models confirmed the results.

The scientists then used screening tests to identify the SCR7 compound, which helped maintain the activity of the FANCD2 and RAD51 genes.

The authors of the new work said they figured out how to activate the DNA repair mechanism in the kidneys: it will help maintain their performance.

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