Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) occurs in stressed tubular epithelial cells, contributing to renal fibrosis. Initial mechanisms promoting EMT are unknown. Pressure force is an important mechanism contributing to the induction and progression of renal fibrogenesis in ureteric obstruction. In our study of cultured rat renal tubular cells (NRK-52E) under 60 mmHg of pressure, we found that the epithelial marker E-cadherin decreased and mesenchymal markers, e.g., α-smooth muscle actin, fibronectin and Snail, increased. Pressure also induced the expression of connective tissue growth factor and transforming growth factor-β. MicroRNA array assays showed that pressure reduced miR-328 at the initial stage of pressurization. We identified a potential target sequence of miR-328 in rat CD44 3′-untranslated regions. In contrast with the miR-328 expression, CD44 expression was up-regulated at the initial pressurization stage. We also found that miR-328 expression decreased and CD44 increased in ureteric obstruction kidneys in the animal study. CD44 siRNA transfection significantly increased E-cadherin expression and inhibited pressure-induced EMT. Both hyaluronan binding peptide pep-1 and osteopontin neutralizing antibody inhibited pressure-induced EMT. Our results suggest that miR-328-mediated CD44 transient upregulation is an important trigger of the pressure-induced EMT in renal fibrosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)