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Sci Signal. 2013 Jun 4;6(278):ra43. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.2003389.

TGF-β induces acetylation of chromatin and of Ets-1 to alleviate repression of miR-192 in diabetic nephropathy.

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Department of Diabetes and Division of Molecular Diabetes Research, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs), such as miR-192, mediate the actions of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β) related to the pathogenesis of diabetic kidney diseases. We found that the biphasic induction of miR-192 expression by TGF-β in mouse renal glomerular mesangial cells initially involved the Smad transcription factors, followed by sustained expression that was promoted by acetylation of the transcription factor Ets-1 and of histone H3 by the acetyltransferase p300, which was activated by the serine and threonine kinase Akt. In mesangial cells from Ets-1-deficient mice or in cells in which Ets-1 was knocked down, basal amounts of miR-192 were higher than those in control cells, but sustained induction of miR-192 by TGF-β was attenuated. Furthermore, inhibition of Akt or ectopic expression of dominant-negative histone acetyltransferases decreased p300-mediated acetylation and Ets-1 dissociation from the miR-192 promoter and prevented miR-192 expression in response to TGF-β. Activation of Akt and p300 and acetylation of Ets-1 and histone H3 were increased in glomeruli from diabetic db/db mice compared to nondiabetic db/+ mice, suggesting that this pathway may contribute to diabetic nephropathy. These findings provide insight into the regulation of miRNAs through signaling-mediated changes in transcription factor activity and in epigenetic histone acetylation under normal and disease states.

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