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DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.170055


Despite clinical use of immunosuppressive agents, the immunopathogenesis of minimal change disease (MCD) and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) remains unclear. Src homology 3-binding protein 2 (SH3BP2), a scaffold protein, forms an immune signaling complex (signalosome) with 17 other proteins, including phospholipase Cγ2 (PLCγ2) and Rho-guanine nucleotide exchange factor VAV2 (VAV2). Bioinformatic analysis of human glomerular transcriptome (Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network cohort) revealed upregulated SH3BP2 in MCD and FSGS. The SH3BP2 signalosome score and downstream MyD88, TRIF, and NFATc1 were significantly upregulated in MCD and FSGS. Immune pathway activation scores for Toll-like receptors, cytokine-cytokine receptor, and NOD-like receptors were increased in FSGS. Lower SH3BP2 signalosome score was associated with MCD, higher estimated glomerular filtration rate, and remission. Further work using Sh3bp2KI/KI transgenic mice with a gain-in-function mutation showed ~6-fold and ~25-fold increases in albuminuria at 4 and 12 weeks, respectively. Decreased serum albumin and unchanged serum creatinine were observed at 12 weeks. Sh3bp2KI/KI kidney morphology appeared normal except for increased mesangial cellularity and patchy foot process fusion without electron-dense deposits. SH3BP2 co-immunoprecipitated with PLCγ2 and VAV2 in human podocytes, underscoring the importance of SH3BP2 in immune activation. SH3BP2 and its binding partners may determine the immune activation pathways resulting in podocyte injury leading to loss of the glomerular filtration barrier.

Journal Title

JCI Insight





MeSH Keywords

Animals; Humans; Mice; Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing; Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental; Kidney; Kidney Glomerulus; Mice, Transgenic; Nephrosis, Lipoid; Nephrotic Syndrome; Phospholipase C gamma


Innate immunity; Nephrology


This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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