Receptor-mediated processes in the mammalian kidney.
In the human nephron, plasma proteins are ultrafiltered across the glomerular capillary walls and reabsorbed downstream from the lumen of the proximal tubule. Our lab is actively engaged in studies of how receptors participate in both processes. In collaboration with colleagues at in the University of Pennsylvania Renal Electrolyte and Hypertension Division, we are studying the signaling network that is activated in podocytes (specialized glomerular epithelial cells) in response to the phosphorylation of nephrin, a receptor expressed at the junction between interdigitating podocytes in the healthy glomerular capillary wall. In collaboration with Dr. Casim Sarkar (University of Minnesota), we are studying the receptor-mediated reabsorption of albumin in the proximal tubule, in an effort to co-opt this endogenous system to increase the bioavailability of protein-based therapeutics.