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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 May 25;357(1):237-44. Epub 2007 Mar 30.

Glucose regulation of CDK7, a putative thiol related gene, in experimental diabetic nephropathy.

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Division of Reproduction and Endocrinology, School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, King's College London, UK.


We previously described the identification of the 3'end of an unknown gene CDK7 using differential display which appeared to be up-regulated in diabetic kidneys [R.A. Page, C.A. Morris, J.D. Williams, C.J. von Ruhland, A.N. Malik, Isolation of diabetes-associated kidney genes using differential display, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 232 (1997) 49-53]. Here we show that CDK7 is a putative thiol related gene which is regulated by glucose in human and rat renal cells. CDK7 mRNA increased by >threefold in cultured human mesangial cells grown in high glucose for 4 days. In the kidneys of the GK rat, a model of type II diabetes, CDK7 showed a steady age-related increase in mRNA, increasing to >sixfold in 40 week GK rats compared to normoglycemic age-matched Wistar rat kidneys, this increase correlates with progressive hyperglycemia. CDK7 mRNA is widely expressed, showing particularly high levels of expression in rat and human liver, and encodes a putative 338 amino acids highly conserved peptide with several conserved domains, including a cys-pro-arg-cys domain conserved in 15 diverse species which is similar to the catalytic centre of thioredoxin, suggesting a role in oxidative stress.

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