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Int J Mol Med. 2019 Aug;44(2):447-456. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2019.4209. Epub 2019 May 24.

Effects of transcription factor EB on oxidative stress and apoptosis induced by high glucose in podocytes.

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Department of Nephrology, The Third Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050051, P.R. China.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of transcription factor EB (TFEB) overexpression on oxidative stress, mitochondrial function and apoptosis in podocytes induced with high glucose. High glucose‑induced time‑dependent changes in TFEB expression were identified and nuclear translocation of TFEB was observed in podocytes. Overexpression of TFEB markedly reduced high glucose‑induced oxidative stress in podocytes, and increased the expression of superoxide dismutase 2 and heme oxygenase 1 antioxidant enzymes. It was further observed that TFEB overexpression could partially restore the expression of peroxisome proliferator‑activated receptor‑γ coactivator‑1α, transcription factor A, mitochondrial, and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 4, thereby enhancing mitochondrial biosynthesis. Furthermore, overexpression of TFEB reduced mitochondrial swelling and fragmentation, restored mitochondrial membrane potential, and contributed to the restoration of mitochondrial function. By overexpressing TFEB, it was revealed that TFEB increased the ratios of phosphorylated (p)‑Akt/Akt and p‑Bad/Bad, and the expression of downstream Bcl‑xl, and reduced the ratio of Bax/Bcl‑2 and the expression of cleaved‑caspase‑3 compared with high glucose‑treatment. Furthermore, when the Akt phosphorylation inhibitor Ly294002 was added, the improvement by TFEB to high glucose‑induced apoptosis was significantly reduced. These findings suggest that overexpressing TFEB could reduce the production of reactive oxygen species in podocytes in a high glucose environment, relieve oxidative stress, promote mitochondrial biogenesis and renewal functions, and reduce high glucose‑induced podocyte apoptosis by activating the Akt/Bad pathway.


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