Biologically active ADAMTS13 is expressed in renal tubular epithelial cells
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- Manea, M., Tati, R., Karlsson, J. et al. Pediatr Nephrol (2010) 25: 87. doi:10.1007/s00467-009-1262-2
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ADAMTS13 mRNA, which encodes the von Willebrand factor-cleaving protease, has been detected in a variety of tissues, including the kidney. The aim of our study was to characterize tubular expression and bioactivity of ADAMTS13. ADAMTS13 mRNA was detected in cultured primary human renal tubular epithelial cells (HRTEC) and in A498 cells, a human renal carcinoma cell line, by real-time PCR. Protein was detected using immunofluorescence and immunoblotting. Immunoblots demonstrated that the protein was secreted. The protease was proteolytically active in both cell lysates and cleaved the FRETS–VWF73 substrate. ADAMTS13 was demonstrated in situ in the renal cortex by immunohistochemistry. Protease was detected in both the proximal and distal renal tubules in normal renal tissue (n = 3) as well as in patients with tubular disorders (n = 3). Immunoblotting revealed that ADAMTS13 was present in the urine of patients with tubulopathy (n = 5) but not in normal urine. ADAMTS13 in urine had a molecular size similar to that in plasma, which indicates that the protease originates in the tubuli because such large proteins do not normally pass the glomerular filter. In conclusion, human renal tubular epithelial cells synthesize biologically active ADAMTS13 which may, after release from tubuli, regulate hemostasis in the local microenvironment.