Protein Protects Mouse Kidneys from Damage Caused by Acute Injuries and Chronic Renal Disease

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University of Michigan scientists have identified a new and unusual protein that reduces, in laboratory mice, kidney damage caused by chronic renal disease and acute toxic injuries.

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Named KCP, for kielin/chordin-like protein, the new protein is the first of its kind found to directly enhance signals from bone morphogenetic proteins or BMPs, which are vital to the normal development and healthy functioning of the kidney.

"KCP is similar in structure to proteins like chordin, which suppress BMP signals during embryonic development," says Gregory R. Dressler, Ph.D., an associate professor of pathology in the U-M Medical School, who directed the research study.

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