Influence of aminoglycoside antibiotics on chicken cystatin binding to renal brush-border membranes

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Drug-induced kidney injury is a serious adverse event which needs to be monitored during aminoglycoside therapy. Urine cystatin C is considered an early and sensitive marker of nephrotoxicity. Cystatin C, a low-molecular-weight serum protein, and basic drugs have a common transport system expressed in the apical membrane of renal proximal tubular cells. The aim of this study was to investigate whether aminoglycoside antibiotics influenced cystatin C binding to the renal brush-border membrane.


The binding study was performed using a rapid filtration technique and affinity column displacement method.

Key findings

Concentration-dependent inhibition of chicken cystatin binding to brush-border membranes by gentamicin was observed. The gentamicin interaction with brush-border membranes was of relatively low affinity (Ki = 32 μm) in comparison with the chicken cystatin affinity to the binding sites (Kd = 3.6 μm). Amikacin and gentamicin were only able to displace chicken cystatin from the chromatographic affinity column in concentrations several times higher than normally found in the tubular fluid during standard aminoglycoside therapy.


Cystatin reabsorption in the proximal tubule cannot be significantly affected by aminoglycoside antibiotics because of their relatively low affinity to common binding sites on the brush-border membrane.

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