Silvia Berra

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Although patients with chronic renal failure are increasing worldwide, many aspects of kidney biology remain to be elucidated. Recent research has uncovered several molecular properties of the glomerular filtration barrier, in which podocytes, highly differentiated, ramified cells that enwrap the glomerular basement membrane, have been reported to be mainly(More)
Podocytes possess the complete machinery for glutamatergic signaling, raising the possibility that neuron-like signaling contributes to glomerular function. To test this, we studied mice and cells lacking Rab3A, a small GTPase that regulates glutamate exocytosis. In addition, we blocked the glutamate ionotropic N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) with(More)
Several recent studies have focused on similarities between glomerular podocytes and neurons because the two cells share a specialized cytoskeletal organization and several expression-restricted proteins, such as nephrin and synaptopodin. In neurons, the small guanosine triphosphatase Rab3A and its effector rabphilin-3A form a complex required for the(More)
Idiopathic focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a progressive and proteinuric kidney disease that starts with podocyte injury. Podocytes cover the external side of the glomerular capillary by a complex web of primary and secondary ramifications. Similar to dendritic spines of neuronal cells, podocyte processes rely on a dynamic actin-based(More)
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