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J Biol Chem. 1998 Feb 13;273(7):4135-42.

Kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), a putative epithelial cell adhesion molecule containing a novel immunoglobulin domain, is up-regulated in renal cells after injury.

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  • 1Renal Unit, Medical Services, Massachusetts General Hospital East, Boston, Massachusetts 02129, USA.


We report the identification of rat and human cDNAs for a type 1 membrane protein that contains a novel six-cysteine immunoglobulin-like domain and a mucin domain; it is named kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1). Structurally, KIM-1 is a member of the immunoglobulin gene superfamily most reminiscent of mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule 1 (MAdCAM-1). Human KIM-1 exhibits homology to a monkey gene, hepatitis A virus cell receptor 1 (HAVcr-1), which was identified recently as a receptor for the hepatitis A virus. KIM-1 mRNA and protein are expressed at a low level in normal kidney but are increased dramatically in postischemic kidney. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry revealed that KIM-1 is expressed in proliferating bromodeoxyuridine-positive and dedifferentiated vimentin-positive epithelial cells in regenerating proximal tubules. Structure and expression data suggest that KIM-1 is an epithelial cell adhesion molecule up-regulated in the cells, which are dedifferentiated and undergoing replication. KIM-1 may play an important role in the restoration of the morphological integrity and function to postischemic kidney.

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