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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Oct 17;310(2):513-21.

Elevated levels of beta defensin-1 mRNA in diabetic kidneys of GK rats.

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Molecular Genetics Section, School of Life Sciences, Kings College London, 150 Stamford St., London SE1 9NN, UK.


We previously described the isolation of CDK4, representing the 3(')end of an unknown mRNA, using differential display [Biophys. Res. Commun. 232 (1997) 49]. To determine the identity of the CDK4 gene, full-length CDK4 cDNA clones were isolated from a diabetic kidney cDNA library. DNA sequencing revealed that CDK4 represents the rat beta defensin-1 gene (rBD-1). rBD-1 mRNA was detected in rat kidney, heart, lung, and skeletal muscle using RT-PCR. Using Northern blot analysis, elevated levels of the 0.5kb mRNA transcript were detected in the kidneys of 6-, 16-, 26-, and 40-week-old GK rats when compared with age-matched Wistar controls. A novel 2.0kb mRNA transcript was also detected in all kidneys examined from GK rats in none of the age-matched control kidneys. Biglycan and TGF-beta1 mRNAs were significantly up-regulated in kidneys of GK rats at 26 weeks compared to 16 and 6 weeks, showing that the kidneys of GK rats mimic the gene expression pattern described for human and experimental DN. These data suggest that overexpression of beta-defensin-1 mRNA may play a role in diabetic nephropathy.

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