The accumulation of plasma advanced oxidation protein products (AOPPs) is prevalent in chronic kidney disease. We previously showed that accumulation of AOPPs resulted in podocyte apoptosis and their deletion by a cascade of signaling events coupled with intracellular oxidative stress. The transmembrane receptor that specifically transmits the AOPPs' signals to elicit cellular activity, however, remains unknown. Using co-immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence, we found that AOPPs colocalized and interacted with the receptor of advanced glycation end products (RAGE) on podocytes. Blocking RAGE by anti-RAGE immunoglobulin G or its silencing by siRNA significantly protected podocytes from AOPPs-induced apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo and ameliorated albuminuria in AOPPs-challenged mice. AOPPs-induced activation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase and the excessive generation of intracellular superoxide were largely inhibited by anti-RAGE immunoglobulin G or RAGE siRNA. Moreover, blockade of RAGE decreased the activation of the p53/Bax/caspase-dependent proapoptotic pathway induced by AOPPs. Thus, AOPPs interact with RAGE to induce podocyte apoptosis and this, in part, may contribute to the progression of chronic kidney disease.
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