Kidney development and disease
University Hospital Freiburg
Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg 79106
Lienkamp, Soeren S.
Our group is interested in embryonic renal development and disease. Which molecular and structural events lead to the formation of a functioning kidney? How these events are disrupted in hereditary renal diseases is a major focus of our work. How do renal tubules form? The kidney is a highly complex, but well-structured organ. We are especially interested in how renal tubules assume and maintain their shape. Using the embryonic kidney of Xenopus, we found that extensive cell migration and rearrangement occurs during tubule formation. Direction to these movements is provided by distinct molecular signals during renal morphogenesis.
What are the molecular causes of hereditary renal disease? A number of genetic renal diseases can occur early in life and have severe consequences for the affected patients. We try to understand how defective molecules lead to disrupted structural renal development, for example in congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT). Together with a large international team, we identified a novel ciliopathy gene that causes the rare cystic kidney disease nephronophthisis, when mutated.