In a previous study, we demonstrated that dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4)-deficient rats were susceptible to reduced glomerular filtration rate as a result of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes. Therefore, we proposed that DPP4 might be responsible for the preservation of renal function. In this study, to verify the role of DPP4 in the preservation of renal function, we performed a microarray analysis of the kidneys of WT and DPP4-deficient rats after STZ treatment, and gene expression analysis using rat kidneys, human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells, and human renal cancer cells (CakI-1). The microarray analysis indicated that the expression levels of the transporter activity, heme-binding, and pheromone binding-related genes changed significantly. The results of gene expression analysis indicated that there were no significant differences in the expression levels of hemoglobin mRNA between the DPP4-deficient and WT rats; however, the expression levels of hemoglobin mRNA in the kidneys of DPP4-deficient rats tended to decrease when compared with those of both the non-STZ-treated and STZ-treated WT rats. The expression levels of hemoglobin in HEK293 and Caki-1 cells were significantly decreased when DPP4 was knocked down by siRNA, were significantly increased by the addition of soluble human DPP4, and were also significantly increased by the addition of the DPP4 inhibitor, sitagliptin. The expression level of DPP4 was also significantly increased by the addition of sitagliptin in both cell types. Our findings indicate that DPP4 regulates the expression of the hemoglobin genes, and might play a role in the preservation of renal function; however, the underlying mechanism of this preservation remains to be elucidated.
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