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EBioMedicine

Runt-Related Transcription Factor 1 (RUNX1) Promotes TGF-β-Induced Renal Tubular Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and Renal Fibrosis through the PI3K Subunit p110δ.


PMID 29759484

Abstract

Renal fibrosis is widely considered a common mechanism leading to end-stage renal failure. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays important roles in the pathogenesis of renal fibrosis. Runt-related transcription factor 1(RUNX1) plays a vital role in hematopoiesis via Endothelial-to-Hematopoietic Transition (EHT), a process that is conceptually similar to EMT, but its role in EMT and renal fibrosis is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that RUNX1 is overexpressed in the processes of TGF-β-induced partial EMT and renal fibrosis and that the expression level of RUNX1 is SMAD3-dependent. Knockdown of RUNX1 attenuated both TGF-β-induced phenotypic changes and the expression levels of EMT marker genes in renal tubular epithelial cells (RTECs). In addition, overexpression of RUNX1 promoted the expression of EMT marker genes in renal tubular epithelial cells. Moreover, RUNX1 promoted TGF-β-induced partial EMT by increasing transcription of the PI3K subunit p110δ, which mediated Akt activation. Specific deletion of Runx1 in mouse RTECs attenuated renal fibrosis, which was induced by both unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) and folic acid (FA) treatment. These findings suggest that RUNX1 is a potential target for preventing renal fibrosis.

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