Innovation Grant for Tetraspanin Research

Rops Angelique
Annemiek van Spriel (Dept. of Tumor Immunology) and Angelique Rops (Dept. of Nephrology) have been awarded an Innovation Grant from the Kidney Foundation. They have recently demonstrated that the tetraspanin protein CD37 protects against glomerular IgA deposition and renal disease (Rops et al, Am J Pathol2010, 176:2188-97).

Tetraspanins have the unique capacity to interact with key molecules of the immune system, including proteins important for antigen presentation, cell adhesion and signalling. A role of tetraspanins in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy has not been investigated before. This Grant proposal describes a multidisciplinary approach that includes both patient studies and the development of a novel mouse model for IgAN. This combined strategy will provide novel insights into the immunological mechanism underlying the development of IgAN. Moreover, this project holds promise for the identification of a novel IgA nephropathy disease susceptibility gene.
Photo: Angelique Rops

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