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Am J Transplant. 2005 Jan;5(1):58-67.

Selenium-binding protein-1 in smooth muscle cells is downregulated in a rhesus monkey model of chronic allograft nephropathy.

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Department of Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA.


Treating patients with kidney failure by organ transplantation has been extraordinarily successful. Although, current immunosuppressants have improved short-term allograft survival, most transplants are eventually lost due to chronic allograft nephropathy (CAN). The molecular mechanisms underlying CAN are poorly understood. Smooth muscle cells (SMC) play a major role in the pathogenesis of CAN by contributing to the thickening of the intima and narrowing of the lumen of blood vessels. We show that selenium-binding protein-1 (SBP-1), a protein implicated in protein trafficking and secretion, is localized primarily to SMC in vivo. SBP-1 was heavily tyrosine-phosphorylated in vivo. Remarkably, SBP-1 was absent or strongly downregulated in vascular SMC in monkey kidney allografts with CAN. In contrast, the SMC alpha-actin was strongly expressed in the vascular SMC of the same allografts, indicating that the decrease in SBP-1 was not due to a global decrease in SMC proteins. Out of four growth factors implicated in the pathogenesis of CAN, only TGF-beta blocked the expression of SBP-1; thus, TGF-beta could regulate the expression of SBP-1 in CAN. These results show that SBP-1 localizes primarily to SMC in vivo and implicate this phosphoprotein in the effects of TGF-beta on SMC and in the process of CAN.

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