Inflammatory and JAK-STAT Pathways as Shared Molecular Targets for ANCA-Associated Vasculitis and Nephrotic Syndrome
Laura H. Mariani,
Felix H. Eichinger,
Jaclyn N. Taroni,
Maja T. Lindenmeyer,
Casey S. Greene,
Peter C. Grayson,
Clemens D. Cohen,
Matt G. Sampson,
Richard A. Lafayette,
Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE),
European Renal cDNA Bank – Else Kröner-Fresenius Biopsy Bank (ERCB),
Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium (VCRC),
Peter A. Merkel,
Posted 27 Sep 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/427898
Posted 27 Sep 2018
Background: Glomerular diseases of the kidney are presently differentiated, diagnosed and treated according to conventional clinical or structural features. While etiologically diverse, these diseases share common clinical features including but not limited to reduced glomerular filtration rate, increased serum creatinine and proteinuria suggesting shared pathogenic mechanisms across diseases. Renal biopsies from patients with nephrotic syndrome (NS) or ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) were evaluated for molecular signals cutting across conventional disease categories as candidates for therapeutic targets. Methods: Renal biopsies were obtained from patients with NS (minimal change disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, or membranous nephropathy) (n=187) or AAV (granulomatosis with polyangiitis or microscopic polyangiitis) (n=80) from the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE) and the European Renal cDNA Bank. Transcriptional profiles were assessed for shared disease mechanisms. Results: In the discovery cohort, 10-25% transcripts were differentially regulated versus healthy controls in both NS and AAV, >500 transcripts were shared across diseases. The majority of shared transcripts (60-77%) were validated in independent samples. Therapeutically targetable networks were identified, including inflammatory JAK-STAT signaling. STAT1 eQTLs were identified and STAT1 expression associated with GFR-based outcome. A transcriptional STAT1 activity score was generated from STAT1-regulated target genes which correlated with CXCL10 (p<0.001), a JAK-STAT biomarker, predictors of CKD progression, interstitial fibrosis (r=0.41, p<0.001), and urinary EGF (r=-0.51, p<0.001). Conclusion: AAV and NS caused from histopathologically distinct disease categories share common intra-renal molecular pathways cutting across conventional disease classifications. This approach provides a starting point for de novo drug development, and repurposing efforts in rare kidney diseases.
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