The Ward lab is focused on the polycystin complex composed of the proteins polycystin-1 and 2 together with fibrocystin and it’s role in exosome biology. Polycystins 1 and 2 are the products of the genes mutated in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease type 1 and type 2 respectively and fibrocystin is the product of the autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease gene. The polycystin complex is present on exosomes - 100nm diameter membrane vesicles that are secreted into the urine by the cells lining the nephron. The Ward lab is using this observation to develop a urine-based test that can be used to diagnose and monitor polycystic kidney disease. Our lab is also hunting for other members of the polycystin complex by analyzing the complex in urinary exosomes.
Christopher Ward, MBChB, Ph.d.
Hogan, M. C., Bakeberg, J. L., Gainullin, V. G., Irazabal, M. V., Harmon, A. J., Lieske, J. C., ... & Ward, C. J. (2015). Identification of biomarkers for PKD1 using urinary exosomes. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 26(7), 1661-1670.
Lea, W. A., McGreal, K., Sharma, M., Parnell, S. C., Zelenchuk, L., Charlesworth, M. C., ... & Ward, C. J. (2020). Analysis of the polycystin complex (PCC) in human urinary exosome–like vesicles (ELVs). Scientific reports, 10(1), 1-11.