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Semin Nephrol. 2012 May;32(3):253-60. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2012.04.004.

MicroRNA circuits in transforming growth factor-β actions and diabetic nephropathy.

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  • 1Department of Diabetes, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.


Diabetes is associated with significantly increased rates of kidney disease or diabetic nephropathy (DN), a severe microvascular complication that can lead to end-stage renal disease. End-stage renal disease needs to be treated by dialysis or kidney transplantation and also is associated with cardiovascular disease and macrovascular complications. Therefore, effective renal protection is critical to reduce the rates of mortality associated with diabetes. Although key signal transduction and gene regulation mechanisms have been identified and several drugs are currently in clinical use, the rates of DN are still escalating, suggesting the imperative need to identify new biomarkers and drug targets. The recent discovery of microRNAs (miRNAs) and their cellular functions provide an opportunity to fill these critical gaps. Because miRNAs can modulate the actions of key factors involved in DN such as transforming growth factor-β, they could be novel targets for the treatment of DN. This review covers the recent studies on the roles of miRNAs and miRNA circuits in transforming growth factor-β actions and in DN.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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