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PLoS One. 2017 Oct 20;12(10):e0185600. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185600. eCollection 2017.

High glucose augments angiotensinogen in human renal proximal tubular cells through hepatocyte nuclear factor-5.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa University, Kagawa, Japan.
Department of Immuno-oncology, Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, P.R. China.
Departments of Pharmacology and of Nephrology, School of Medicine, International University of Health and Welfare, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Gastroenterology and Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa University, Kagawa, Japan.


High glucose has been demonstrated to induce angiotensinogen (AGT) synthesis in the renal proximal tubular cells (RPTCs) of rats, which may further activate the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and contribute to diabetic nephropathy. This study aimed to investigate the effects of high glucose on AGT in the RPTCs of human origin and identify the glucose-responsive transcriptional factor(s) that bind(s) to the DNA sequences of AGT promoter in human RPTCs. Human kidney (HK)-2 cells were treated with normal glucose (5.5 mM) and high glucose (15.0 mM), respectively. Levels of AGT mRNA and AGT secretion of HK-2 cells were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. Consecutive 5'-end deletion mutant constructs and different site-directed mutagenesis products of human AGT promoter sequences were respectively transfected into HK-2 cells, followed by AGT promoter activity measurement through dual luciferase assay. High glucose significantly augmented the levels of AGT mRNA and AGT secretion of HK-2 cells, compared with normal glucose treatment. High glucose also significantly augmented AGT promoter activity in HK-2 cells transfected with the constructs of human AGT promoter sequences, compared with normal glucose treatment. Hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-5 was found to be one of the glucose-responsive transcriptional factors of AGT in human RPTCs, since the mutation of its binding sites within AGT promoter sequences abolished the above effects of high glucose on AGT promoter activity as well as levels of AGT mRNA and its secretion. The present study has demonstrated, for the first time, that high glucose augments AGT in human RPTCs through HNF-5, which provides a potential therapeutic target for diabetic nephropathy.

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