High levels of a polyubiquinated form of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) were associated with an almost four-fold higher risk of a 40% decline in kidney function in a cohort of American Indians with or at high risk of diabetic kidney disease.
A recently identified modified form of the protein PTEN has been implicated in kidney fibrosis in animals and in fibrotic mechanisms in human cellular studies. Researchers led by Helen C Looker wanted to see if circulating levels of this form of PTEN were associated with progression of kidney disease in American Indians with type 2 diabetes. In a study published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (AJKD), they shared their finding that the modified form of PTEN was associated with increased risk of decline in kidney function and the onset of kidney failure. In a subgroup of participants, serum modified PTEN levels were also associated with the severity of lesions in kidney structure, which signify early manifestations of diabetic kidney disease.