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Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:6927234. doi: 10.1155/2016/6927234. Epub 2016 May 9.

Histone Lysine Methylation in TGF-β1 Mediated p21 Gene Expression in Rat Mesangial Cells.

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Department of Nephrology, 2nd Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130041, China.
Department of Endocrinology, 208th Hospital of Chinese PLA, Changchun 130062, China.
Department of Neonatology, 2nd Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130041, China.


Transforming growth factor beta1- (TGF-β1-) induced p21-dependent mesangial cell (MC) hypertrophy plays a key role in the pathogenesis of chronic renal diseases including diabetic nephropathy (DN). Increasing evidence demonstrated the role of posttranscriptional modifications (PTMs) in the event; however, the precise regulatory mechanism of histone lysine methylation remains largely unknown. Here, we examined the roles of both histone H3 lysine 4 and lysine 9 methylations (H3K4me/H3K9me) in TGF-β1 induced p21 gene expression in rat mesangial cells (RMCs). Our results indicated that TGF-β1 upregulated the expression of p21 gene in RMCs, which was positively correlated with the increased chromatin marks associated with active genes (H3K4me1/H3K4me2/H3K4me3) and negatively correlated with the decreased levels of repressive marks (H3K9me2/H3K9me3) at p21 gene promoter. TGF-β1 also elevated the recruitment of the H3K4 methyltransferase (HMT) SET7/9 to the p21 gene promoter. SET7/9 gene silencing with small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) significantly abolished the TGF-β1 induced p21 gene expression. Taken together, these results reveal the key role of histone H3Kme in TGF-β1 mediated p21 gene expression in RMC, partly through HMT SET7/9 occupancy, suggesting H3Kme and SET7/9 may be potential renoprotective agents in managing chronic renal diseases.

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