APOL1 nephropathy – a population genetics success story

Orly Tabachnikov, Karl Skorecki, Etty Kruzel-Davila

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of reviewMore than a decade ago, apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) risk alleles designated G1 and G2, were discovered to be causally associated with markedly increased risk for progressive kidney disease in individuals of recent African ancestry. Gratifying progress has been made during the intervening years, extending to the development and clinical testing of genomically precise small molecule therapy accompanied by emergence of RNA medicine platforms and clinical testing within just over a decade.Recent findingsGiven the plethora of excellent prior review articles, we will focus on new findings regarding unresolved questions relating mechanism of cell injury with mode of inheritance, regulation and modulation of APOL1 activity, modifiers and triggers for APOL1 kidney risk penetrance, the pleiotropic spectrum of APOL1 related disease beyond the kidney - all within the context of relevance to therapeutic advances.SummaryNotwithstanding remaining controversies and uncertainties, promising genomically precise therapies targeted at APOL1 mRNA using antisense oligonucleotides (ASO), inhibitors of APOL1 expression, and small molecules that specifically bind and inhibit APOL1 cation flux are emerging, many already at the clinical trial stage. These therapies hold great promise for mitigating APOL1 kidney injury and possibly other systemic phenotypes as well. A challenge will be to develop guidelines for appropriate use in susceptible individuals who will derive the greatest benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-455
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


  • APOL1
  • RNA medicine
  • cation flux
  • innate immune system
  • nephropathy


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