Evidence of O-linked N-acetylglucosamine in diabetic nephropathy

Péter Degrell, Judit Cseh, Márton Mohás, Gergo A. Molnár, László Pajor, John C. Chatham, Norbert Fülöp, István Wittmann

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: There is increasing evidence that O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) plays an important role in cell signaling pathways. It has also been reported that increases in O-GlcNAc contribute to the development of diabetes and diabetic complications; however, little is known about O-GlcNAc levels in diabetic nephropathy (DNP). Therefore the goal of this study was to determine whether O-GlcNAc could be detected in human kidney biopsy specimens, and if so to examine whether O-GlcNAc levels were increased in the kidneys of patients with DNP compared to the non-diabetic individuals. Main methods: Kidney biopsy specimens were obtained from type-2 diabetic patients (n = 6) and patients diagnosed with thin basement membrane nephropathy (n = 7) were used as non-diabetic controls. O-GlcNAc levels were assessed by immunohistochemistry using the anti-O-GlcNAc antibody CTD110.6. Key findings: We show that O-GlcNAc modification of proteins can be detected in the human kidney biopsy specimens. Furthermore, in diabetic patients, we found significantly increased numbers of O-GlcNAc positive cells in the glomeruli and significantly elevated staining in the tubuli (both in the nucleus and in the cytosol). In addition we also observed an intense, granular O-GlcNAc staining specifically in diabetic tubuli. Significance: In light of the increase in O-GlcNAc staining in the diabetic patients, we propose that increased O-GlcNAc levels might contribute to the development of diabetic nephropathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-393
Number of pages5
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number13-14
Publication statusPublished - Mar 27 2009


  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Hexosamine biosynthesis pathway
  • O-linked N-acetylglucosamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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    Degrell, P., Cseh, J., Mohás, M., Molnár, G. A., Pajor, L., Chatham, J. C., Fülöp, N., & Wittmann, I. (2009). Evidence of O-linked N-acetylglucosamine in diabetic nephropathy. Life Sciences, 84(13-14), 389-393. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2009.01.007