Gut microbiome-derived phenyl sulfate contributes to albuminuria in diabetic kidney disease

Journal: Nature Communications

Published: 2019-04-23

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09735-4

Affiliations: 20

Authors: 56

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Research Highlight

Gut metabolite linked to diabetic kidney disease



A metabolic by-product created by intestinal bacteria could serve as a prognostic biomarker and a drug target for diabetic kidney disease — a leading cause of end-stage renal failure.

A team led by scientists at the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine found that phenyl sulfate levels in the gut increased with diabetes progression in rodent models. They also showed that phenyl sulfate was toxic to kidney cells called podocytes. Exposure to the metabolite caused excess albumin protein to pass from blood to urine — a condition known as albuminuria.

A drug that inhibits the microbial enzyme that produces phenyl sulfate helped protect the kidney from damage in the mouse model. And clinical data revealed a significant correlation between phenyl sulfate concentrations in the blood and rates of albuminuria in a cohort of patients with diabetes.

These findings highlight the potential of using phenyl sulfate as a modifiable target for preventing and treating diabetic kidney disease.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 10, 1835 (2019). doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09735-4
Institutions Share
Graduate School of Medicine / School of Medicine, Tohoku University, Japan 0.38
Faculty / Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University, Japan 0.20
Institute for Advanced Biosciences (IAB), Keio University, Japan 0.06
Department of Integrative Genomics, Tohoku University, Japan 0.05
NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), United States of America (USA) 0.05
Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Tohoku University, Japan 0.05
Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University, Japan 0.04
Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Tohoku University, Japan 0.04
Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Tohoku University, Japan 0.04
Division of Nephrology and Laboratory Medicine, KU, Japan 0.04
Nihon Waters K.K., Japan 0.02
Fujita Health University, Japan 0.02
Department of Organ Anatomy, Tohoku University, Japan 0.02
Kanagawa Institute of Industrial Science and Technology (KISTEC), Japan 0.01
Transborder Medical Research Center, University of Tsukuba, Japan 0.01