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  • A microRNA-30e/mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 axis mediates TGF-β1-induced tubular epithelial cell extracellular matrix production and kidney fibrosis.

A microRNA-30e/mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 axis mediates TGF-β1-induced tubular epithelial cell extracellular matrix production and kidney fibrosis.

Kidney international (2013-03-22)
Lei Jiang, Wenjing Qiu, Yang Zhou, Ping Wen, Li Fang, Hongdi Cao, Ke Zen, Weichun He, Chenyu Zhang, Chunsun Dai, Junwei Yang
ABSTRACT

Mitochondria dysfunction has been reported in various kidney diseases but how it leads to kidney fibrosis and how this is regulated is unknown. Here we found that mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) was induced in kidney tubular epithelial cells after unilateral ureteral obstruction in mice and that mice with ablated UCP2 resisted obstruction-induced kidney fibrosis. We tested this association further in cultured NRK-52E cells and found that TGF-β1 remarkably induced UCP2 expression. Knockdown of UCP2 largely abolished the effect of TGF-β1, whereas overexpression of UCP2 promoted tubular cell phenotype changes. Analysis using a UCP2 mRNA-3'-untranslated region luciferase construct showed that UCP2 mRNA is a direct target of miR-30e. MiR-30e was downregulated in tubular cells from fibrotic kidneys and TGF-β1-treated NRK-52E cells. A miR-30e mimic significantly inhibited TGF-β1-induced tubular-cell epithelial-mesenchymal transition, whereas a miR-30e inhibitor imitated TGF-β1 effects. Finally, genipin, an aglycone UCP2 inhibitor, significantly ameliorated kidney fibrosis in mice. Thus, the miR-30e/UCP2 axis has an important role in mediating TGF-β1-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition and kidney fibrosis. Targeting this pathway may shed new light for the future of fibrotic kidney disease therapy.