TitleOrganoid single cell profiling identifies a transcriptional signature of glomerular disease.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsHarder, JL, Menon, R, Otto, EA, Zhou, J, Eddy, S, Wys, NL, O'Connor, C, Luo, J, Nair, V, Cebrián, C, Spence, JR, Bitzer, M, Troyanskaya, OG, Hodgin, JB, Wiggins, RC, Freedman, BS, Kretzler, M
Corporate AuthorsEuropean Renal cDNA Bank (ERCB), Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network (NEPTUNE)
JournalJCI Insight
Date Published2019 Jan 10

Podocyte injury is central to many forms of kidney disease, but transcriptional signatures reflecting podocyte injury and compensation mechanisms are challenging to analyze in vivo. Human kidney organoids derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), a potentially new model for disease and regeneration, present an opportunity to explore the transcriptional plasticity of podocytes. Here, transcriptional profiling of more than 12,000 single cells from human PSC-derived kidney organoid cultures was used to identify robust and reproducible cell lineage gene expression signatures shared with developing human kidneys based on trajectory analysis. Surprisingly, the gene expression signature characteristic of developing glomerular epithelial cells was also observed in glomerular tissue from a kidney disease cohort. This signature correlated with proteinuria and inverse eGFR, and it was confirmed in an independent podocytopathy cohort. Three genes in particular were further characterized as potentially novel components of the glomerular disease signature. We conclude that cells in human PSC-derived kidney organoids reliably recapitulate the developmental transcriptional program of podocytes and other cell lineages in the human kidney and that transcriptional profiles seen in developing podocytes are reactivated in glomerular disease. Our findings demonstrate an approach to identifying potentially novel molecular programs involved in the pathogenesis of glomerulopathies.

Alternate JournalJCI Insight
PubMed ID30626756
PubMed Central IDPMC6485369
Grant ListK01 DK102826 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States
P30 CA046592 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
UG3 TR002158 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States
U54 DK083912 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States
K08 DK089119 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States
P30 DK081943 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States