Minolfa PrietoMinolfa C. Prieto, MD, PhD

Tulane University School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology and Hypertension & Renal Center of Excellence

Renal mechanisms of control of blood pressure in health and diabetes mellitus


Dr. Prieto is a geneticist and renal physiologist who received her initial education and earned her MD in the University of Zulia, Venezuela and then her PhD in Renal Physiology from the Tulane University, New Orleans-LA, USA. Following completion of her PhD she joined the laboratory of Dr. L. Gabriel Navar at Tulane, School of Medicine to study the mechanisms governing the regulation of renin in the distal nephron. In 2005, she was appointed as an Assistant Professor at Ponce School of Medicine, Puerto Rico. Dr. Prieto was recruited back to the Department of Physiology at Tulane University in 2007, where she is currently assistant professor.

Ongoing research projects related to diabetes mellitus

Dr. Prieto’s major research focuses on the functional role and regulation of the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system (RAS) genes in the pathogenesis of hypertension and related renal morphological changes. Efforts of her research program concentrate on the determination of the mechanisms that regulates renin and the prorenin receptor in the distal nephron segments and the consequences of their local interaction on the development and progression of high blood pressure and kidney injury during hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Recent research in her lab is conducted to elucidate the functional contribution of the collecting duct-derived prorenin and prorenin receptor interaction on the development of tubulointerstitial fibrosis in diabetes and the influences of hyperglycemia on trafficking alteration of the prorenin receptor. To address this issue, Dr. Prieto team has generated a novel and unique Cre-loxP mouse model with cell type specific deletion of the prorenin receptor in the collecting duct cells, as well as performs in vitro experiments using a collecting duct cell line transfected with the prorenin receptor. Her expertise includes immunohistochemistry by immunoperoxidase and immunofluorescence techniques in cells, frozen and fixed tissues, renal immunohistopathology, molecular cell biology studies including cell cultures, Western blot, Northern blot, Southern blot, cloning, PCR, real time qRT-PCR, and immunoprecipitation, among other.

Ongoing projects include
  • Pleiotropic effects of the prorenin receptor in rodent models of intrarenal RAS activation
  • Role of the collecting duct-derived prorenin and prorenin receptor interaction in hypertension
  • Levels of Prorenin, sPRR, and TGF-beta in Urine: Potential biomarkers of CKD in Type 2 diabetic Patients
  • Novel mechanisms underlying the regulation of angiotensinogen by HDACs in proximal tubule cells.

Lab members

Alexis A. Gonzalez, PhD– Post-Doctoral Fellow
Marta Kuczeriszka, PhD – Post-Doctoral Fellow
Camille R.T. Bourgeois, MS – Lab Research Technician
Liu Liu, BS – Graduate Student

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