The glomerular basement membrane (GBM) is lined by fenestrated endothelium from the capillary-lumen side and by interdigitating foot processes of the podocytes from the urinary- space side. These three layers of the glomerular capillary wall constitute the functional unit of the glomerular filtration barrier. The GBM is assembled through an interweaving of type IV collagen with laminins, nidogen, and sulfated proteoglycans. Mutations in genes encoding LAMB2, COL4A3, COL4A4, and COL4A5 cause glomerular disease in humans as well as in mice. In addition, laminin α5 mutation in podocytes leads to proteinuria and renal failure in mice. Moreover, more neoepitopes in Goodpasture's disease and for the first time alloepitopes in Alport post-transplantation nephritis have been located in the collagen α5(IV) NC1 domain. These discoveries underscore the importance of the GBM in establishing and maintaining the integrity of the glomerular filtration barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalTranslational Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012


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