Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a developmental disorder, which either manifests in early childhood or later in life, depending on the genetic mutation one harbors. The mechanisms of cyst initiation are not well understood. Increasing literature is now suggesting that Notch signaling may play a critical role in PKD. Activation of Notch signaling is important during nephrogenesis and slows down after development. Deletion of various Notch molecules in the cap mesenchyme leads to formation of cysts and early death in mice. A new study by Belyea et al. has now found that cells of renin lineage may link Notch expression and cystic kidney disease. Here, we use our understanding of Notch signaling and PKD to speculate about the significance of these interactions.

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