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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Feb 27;104(9):3432-7. Epub 2007 Feb 20.

MicroRNA-192 in diabetic kidney glomeruli and its function in TGF-beta-induced collagen expression via inhibition of E-box repressors.

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Gonda Diabetes Center, Division of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.


Key features of diabetic nephropathy (DN) include the accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins such as collagen 1-alpha 1 and -2 (Col1a1 and -2). Transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta), a key regulator of these extracellular matrix genes, is increased in mesangial cells (MC) in DN. By microarray profiling, we noted that TGF-beta increased Col1a2 mRNA in mouse MC (MMC) but also decreased mRNA levels of an E-box repressor, deltaEF1. TGF-beta treatment or short hairpin RNAs targeting deltaEF1 increased enhancer activity of upstream E-box elements in the Col1a2 gene. TGF-beta also decreased the expression of Smad-interacting protein 1 (SIP1), another E-box repressor similar to deltaEF1. Interestingly, we noted that SIP1 is a target of microRNA-192 (miR-192), a key miR highly expressed in the kidney. miR-192 levels also were increased by TGF-beta in MMC. TGF-beta treatment or transfection with miR-192 decreased endogenous SIP1 expression as well as reporter activity of a SIP1 3' UTR-containing luciferase construct in MMC. Conversely, a miR-192 inhibitor enhanced the luciferase activity, confirming SIP1 to be a miR-192 target. Furthermore, miR-192 synergized with deltaEF1 short hairpin RNAs to increase Col1a2 E-box-luc activity. Importantly, the in vivo relevance was noted by the observation that miR-192 levels were enhanced significantly in glomeruli isolated from streptozotocin-injected diabetic mice as well as diabetic db/db mice relative to corresponding nondiabetic controls, in parallel with increased TGF-beta and Col1a2 levels. These results uncover a role for miRs in the kidney and DN in controlling TGF-beta-induced Col1a2 expression by down-regulating E-box repressors.

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