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Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a common kidney disease that results in nephrotic syndrome. FSGS arises from dysfunction and apoptosis of podocytes in the glomerulus of the kidney, leading to podocytopathy. The molecular mechanisms underlying podocyte apoptosis remain incompletely understood. Using an array of gene expression profiling, PCR and in situ hybridization assay, we found here that the levels of the long noncoding RNA LOC105374325 were elevated in the renal podocytes of individuals with FSGS. We also observed that the microRNAs miR-34c and miR-196a/b down-regulated the expression of the apoptosis regulators BCL2-associated X, apoptosis regulator (Bax) and BCL2 antagonist/killer 1 (Bak) in podocytes. Competitive binding between LOC105374325 and miR-34c or miR-196a/b increased Bax and Bak levels and caused podocyte apoptosis. Of note, the mitogen-activated protein kinase P38 and the transcription factor CCAAT enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ) up-regulated LOC105374325 expression. P38 inhibition or C/EBPβ silencing decreased LOC105374325 levels and inhibited apoptosis in Adriamycin-treated podocytes. LOC105374325 overexpression decreased miR-34c and miR-196a/b levels, increased Bax and Bak levels, and induced proteinuria and focal segmental lesions in mice. In conclusion, the activation of the P38/C/EBPβ pathway stimulates the expression of LOC105374325, which, in turn, increases Bax and Bak levels and causes apoptosis by competitively binding to miR-34c and miR-196a/b in the podocytes of individuals with FSGS.
PMID: 30389788 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]