Semaphorins are guidance proteins that play important roles in organogenesis and disease. Expression of class 3 semaphorins and their receptors is regulated during kidney development. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments demonstrated that tight semaphorin3a gene dosage is required for podocyte differentiation, and for the establishment of a normal glomerular filtration barrier. Sema3a modulates kidney vascular patterning acting as a negative regulator of endothelial cell migration and survival. Excess podocyte semaphorin3a expression causes glomerular disease in mice. In addition, Sema3a is a negative regulator of ureteric bud branching, whereas Sema3c is a positive regulator of ureteric bud and endothelial cell branching morphogenesis. In summary, secreted semaphorins modulate ureteric bud branching, vascular patterning, and podocyte-endothelial crosstalk, suggesting that they play a role in renal disease. Understanding the signaling pathways downstream from semaphorin receptors will provide insight into the mechanism of action of semaphorins in renal pathology.
- Branching morphogenesis
- Vascular patterning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health