Portes Ouvertes de l'EPFL

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What is polycystic kidney disease ?

Apr 30, 20237:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Salle SV 3805


Kidneys function in our body like a water recycling station to filter waste and toxic molecules from the blood and secrete them in the urine. They also concentrate urine so that we do not unnecessarily lose water and valuable minerals. Polycystic kidney diseases (PKD) affect >1 in 1000 people due to inherited gene mutations that transform renal tubules into fluid-filled cysts by disrupting their ability to sense urine flow. PKD patients also have an increased cancer risk and at advanced stages require weekly dialysis to purify their blood. What you will explore To find a cure for PKD, researchers must uncover how urine flow in healthy kidneys prevents cystic growth. In this workshop, visitors investigate how the disease is modelled to discover how urine flow inhibits cystic growth by stimulating the mRNA binding protein Bicc1. What you will see and do Participants will use a microscope to distinguish between tissues of healthy and cystic kidneys. They will also analyse the fluorescent staining of flow-sensing cilia, and of Bicc1 and a target mRNA. The objective is to recognize how the observed tissue architectures (healthy/diseased) correlate with the pattern of the Bicc1-mRNA complexes. Finally, a physical model of flow-sensing cilia and of the 3D structure of the Bicc1 protein are explored to discover at the cellular and molecular level how defects in flow-sensing are thought to perturb the function of Bicc1.

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Target audience

Children (7-10 years)
Children (11-13 years)
Young people (14-16 ans)



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