TGF-? Mediates Renal Fibrosis via the Smad3-Erbb4-IR Long Noncoding RNA Axis.
ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?)/Smad3 signaling plays a role in tissue fibrosis. We report here that Erbb4-IR is a novel long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) responsible for TGF-?/Smad3-mediated renal fibrosis and is a specific therapeutic target for chronic kidney disease. Erbb4-IR was induced by TGF-?1 via a Smad3-dependent mechanism and was highly upregulated in the fibrotic kidney of mouse unilateral ureteral obstructive nephropathy (UUO). Silencing Erbb4-IR blocked TGF-?1-induced collagen I and alpha-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA) expressions in vitro and effectively attenuated renal fibrosis in the UUO kidney by blocking TGF-?/Smad3 signaling. Mechanistic studies revealed that Smad7, a downstream negative regulator of TGF-?/Smad signaling, is a target gene of Erbb4-IR because a binding site of Erbb4-IR was found on the 3' UTR of Smad7 gene. Mutation of this binding site prevented the suppressive effect of Erbb4-IR on the Smad7 reporter activity; in contrast, overexpression of Erbb4-IR largely inhibited Smad7 but increased collagen I and ?-SMA transcriptions. Thus, kidney-specific silencing of Erbb4-IR upregulated renal Smad7 and thus blocked TGF-?/Smad3-mediated renal fibrosis in vivo and in vitro. In conclusion, the present study identified that Erbb4-IR is a novel lncRNA responsible for TGF-?/Smad3-mediated renal fibrosis by downregulating Smad7. Targeting Erbb4-IR may represent a precise therapeutic strategy for progressive renal fibrosis.
Project description:Overexpression of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) has been shown to play pathogenic roles in progression of renal fibrosis, and the severity of tubulointerstitial fibrosis correlates better with renal function than the severity of glomerulosclerosis. Smad proteins are signaling transducers downstream from TGF-beta receptors. Three families of Smad proteins have been identified: receptor-regulated Smad2 and Smad3, common partner Smad4, and inhibitory Smad7 (part of a negative-feedback loop). We investigated Smad-mediated TGF-beta signaling pathway and regulatory mechanisms of inhibitory Smad7 in unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) kidneys in mice, a model of progressive tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Compared with sham-operated kidneys, the level of Smad7 protein, but not mRNA, decreased progressively in UUO kidneys, whereas immunoreactivity for nuclear phosphorylated Smad2 and Smad3 and renal fibrosis were inversely increased. Furthermore, we demonstrated that both the degradation and ubiquitination activity of Smad7 protein were increased markedly in UUO kidneys compared with sham-operated ones. We also found that both Smurf1 and Smurf2 (Smad ubiquitination regulatory factors), which are E3 ubiquitin ligases for Smad7, were increased and that they interacted with Smad7 in UUO kidneys. Our results suggest that the reduction of Smad7 protein resulting from enhanced ubiquitin-dependent degradation plays a pathogenic role in progression of tubulointerstitial fibrosis.
Project description:In this study, we examined the effect of MC1568, a selective class IIa histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, on the development and progression of renal fibrosis in a murine model of renal fibrosis induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). All 4 class IIa HDAC isoforms, in particular HDAC4, were up-regulated in renal epithelial cells of the injured kidney. Administration of MC1568 immediately after UUO injury reduced expression of ?-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA), fibronectin, and collagen 1. MC1568 treatment or small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of HDAC4 also suppressed expression of those proteins in cultured renal epithelial cells. Mechanistically, MC1568 abrogated UUO-induced phosphorylation of Smad3, NF-?B, and up-regulation of integrin ?V?6 in the kidney and inhibited TGF-?1-induced responses in cultured renal epithelial cells. MC1568 also increased renal expression of klotho, bone morphogenetic protein 7, and Smad7. Moreover, delayed administration of MC1568 at 3 d after ureteral obstruction reversed the expression of ?-SMA, fibronectin, and collagen 1 and increased expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9. Collectively, these results suggest that selectively targeting class IIa HDAC isoforms (in particular HDAC4) may inhibit development and progression of renal fibrosis by suppressing activation and expression of multiple profibrotic molecules and increasing expression of antifibrotic proteins and MMPs.-Xiong, C., Guan, Y., Zhou, X., Liu, L., Zhuang, M. A., Zhang, W., Zhang, Y., Masucci, M. V., Bayliss, G., Zhao, T. C., Zhuang, S. Selective inhibition of class IIa histone deacetylases alleviates renal fibrosis.
Project description:Renal fibrosis is the common pathological foundation of many chronic kidney diseases (CKDs). The aim of this study was to investigate whether Hydroxysafflor yellow A (HSYA) can preserve renal function by inhibiting the progression of renal fibrosis and the potential mechanisms.Renal fibrosis was induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) performed on 7-week-old C57BL/6 mice. HSYA (10, 50 and 100 mg/kg) were intragastrically administered. Sham group and model group were administered with the same volume of vehicle. Serum and kidney samples were collected 14 days after the UUO surgery. Serum biochemical indicators were measured by automatic biochemical analyzer. Histological changes were evaluated by HE and Masson staining. In vitro, the anti-fibrotic effect of HSYA was tested on human recombinant transforming growth factor-?1 (TGF-?1) stimulated HK-2 cells. The protein levels of ?-SMA, collagen-I and fibronectin in kidney tissue and HK-2 cells were measured by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. The protein levels of apoptosis-relative and TGF-?1/Smad3 signaling were detected by western blot.HSYA slowed the development of renal fibrosis both in vivo and in vitro. In UUO rats, renal function index suggested that HSYA treatment decreased the level of serum creatinine (Scr) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) rose by UUO (P<0.05). HE staining and Masson staining demonstrated that kidney interstitial fibrosis, tubular atrophy, and inflammatory cell infiltration were notably attenuated in the high-dose HSYA group compared with the model group. The expressions of ?-SMA, collagen-I and fibronectin were decreased in the UUO kidney and HK-2 cells of the HSYA-treatment group. Moreover, HSYA reduced the apoptotic rate of HK-2 cells stimulated by TGF-?1. Further study revealed that HSYA regulated the TGF-?1/Smads signaling pathway both in kidney tissue and HK-2 cells.These results suggested that HSYA had a protective effect against fibrosis in renal cells, at least partly, through inhibiting TGF-?1/smad3-mediated Epithelial-mesenchymal transition signaling pathway.
Project description:TGF-?1, via Smad-dependent or Smad-independent signaling, has a central role in the pathogenesis of renal fibrosis. This pathway has been recognized as a potential target for antifibrotic therapy. Here, we identified GQ5, a small molecular phenolic compound isolated from the dried resin of Toxicodendron vernicifluum, as a potent and selective inhibitor of TGF-?1-induced Smad3 phosphorylation. In TGF-?1-stimulated renal tubular epithelial cells and interstitial fibroblast cells, GQ5 inhibited the interaction of Smad3 with TGF-? type I receptor (T?RI) by blocking binding of Smad3 to SARA, suppressed subsequent phosphorylation of Smad3, reduced nuclear translocation of Smad2, Smad3, and Smad4, and downregulated the transcription of major fibrotic genes such as ?-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA), collagen I, and fibronectin. Notably, intraperitoneal administration of GQ5 in rats immediately after unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) selectively inhibited Smad3 phosphorylation in UUO kidneys, suppressed renal expression of ?-SMA, collagen I, and fibronectin, and resulted in impressive renal protection after obstructive injury. Late administration of GQ5 also effectively attenuated fibrotic lesions in obstructive nephropathy. In conclusion, our results suggest that GQ5 hinders renal fibrosis in rats by selective inhibition of TGF-?1-induced Smad3 phosphorylation.
Project description:TGF-? plays a key role in the development of renal fibrosis. Suppressing the TGF-? signaling pathway is a possible therapeutic approach for preventing this disease, and reports have suggested that Nrf2 protects against renal fibrosis by inhibiting TGF-? signaling. This study examines whether dimethylfumarate (DMF), which stimulates Nrf2, prevents renal fibrosis via the Nrf2-mediated suppression of TGF-? signaling. Results showed that DMF increased nuclear levels of Nrf2, and both DMF and adenovirus-mediated overexpression of Nrf2 (Ad-Nrf2) decreased PAI-1, alpha-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA), fibronectin and type 1 collagen expression in TGF-?-treated rat mesangial cells (RMCs) and renal fibroblast cells (NRK-49F). Additionally, DMF and Ad-Nrf2 repressed TGF-?-stimulated Smad3 activity by inhibiting Smad3 phosphorylation, which was restored by siRNA-mediated knockdown of Nrf2 expression. However, downregulation of the antioxidant response element (ARE)-driven Nrf2 target genes such as NQO1, HO-1 and glutathione S-transferase (GST) did not reverse the inhibitory effect of DMF on TGF-?-induced upregulation of profibrotic genes or extracellular matrix proteins, suggesting an ARE-independent anti-fibrotic activity of DMF. Finally, DMF suppressed unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO)-induced renal fibrosis and ?-SMA, fibronectin and type 1 collagen expression in the obstructed kidneys from UUO mice, along with increased and decreased expression of Nrf2 and phospho-Smad3, respectively. In summary, DMF attenuated renal fibrosis via the Nrf2-mediated inhibition of TGF-?/Smad3 signaling in an ARE-independent manner, suggesting that DMF could be used to treat renal fibrosis.
Project description:TGF-? (transforming growth factor-?) is well identified as a central mediator in renal fibrosis. TGF-? initiates canonical and non-canonical pathways to exert multiple biological effects. Among them, Smad signaling is recognized as a major pathway of TGF-? signaling in progressive renal fibrosis. During fibrogenesis, Smad3 is highly activated, which is associated with the down-regulation of an inhibitory Smad7 via an ubiquitin E3-ligases-dependent degradation mechanism. The equilibrium shift between Smad3 and Smad7 leads to accumulation and activation of myofibroblasts, overproduction of ECM (extracellular matrix), and reduction in ECM degradation in the diseased kidney. Therefore, overexpression of Smad7 has been shown to be a therapeutic agent for renal fibrosis in various models of kidney diseases. In contrast, another downstream effecter of TGF-?/Smad signaling pathway, Smad2, exerts its renal protective role by counter-regulating the Smad3. Furthermore, recent studies demonstrated that Smad3 mediates renal fibrosis by down-regulating miR-29 and miR-200 but up-regulating miR-21 and miR-192. Thus, overexpression of miR-29 and miR-200 or down-regulation of miR-21 and miR-192 is capable of attenuating Smad3-mediated renal fibrosis in various mouse models of chronic kidney diseases (CKD). Taken together, TGF-?/Smad signaling plays an important role in renal fibrosis. Targeting TGF-?/Smad3 signaling may represent a specific and effective therapy for CKD associated with renal fibrosis.
Project description:Inflammation and fibrosis are two pathological features of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) has been long considered as a key mediator of renal fibrosis. In addition, TGF-? also acts as a potent anti-inflammatory cytokine that negatively regulates renal inflammation. Thus, blockade of TGF-? inhibits renal fibrosis while promoting inflammation, revealing a diverse role for TGF-? in CKD. It is now well documented that TGF-?1 activates its downstream signaling molecules such as Smad3 and Smad3-dependent non-coding RNAs to transcriptionally and differentially regulate renal inflammation and fibrosis, which is negatively regulated by Smad7. Therefore, treatments by rebalancing Smad3/Smad7 signaling or by specifically targeting Smad3-dependent non-coding RNAs that regulate renal fibrosis or inflammation could be a better therapeutic approach. In this review, the paradoxical functions and underlying mechanisms by which TGF-?1 regulates in renal inflammation and fibrosis are discussed and novel therapeutic strategies for kidney disease by targeting downstream TGF-?/Smad signaling and transcriptomes are highlighted.
Project description:Tubulointerstitial fibrosis is the final common result of a variety of progressive injuries leading to chronic renal failure. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is reportedly upregulated in response to injurious stimuli such as unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO), causing renal fibrosis associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of the renal tubules and synthesis of extracellular matrix. We now show that mice lacking Smad3 (Smad3ex8/ex8), a key signaling intermediate downstream of the TGF-beta receptors, are protected against tubulointerstitial fibrosis following UUO as evidenced by blocking of EMT and abrogation of monocyte influx and collagen accumulation. Culture of primary renal tubular epithelial cells from wild-type or Smad3-null mice confirms that the Smad3 pathway is essential for TGF-beta1-induced EMT and autoinduction of TGF-beta1. Moreover, mechanical stretch of the cultured epithelial cells, mimicking renal tubular distention due to accumulation of urine after UUO, induces EMT following Smad3-mediated upregulation of TGF-beta1. Exogenous bone marrow monocytes accelerate EMT of the cultured epithelial cells and renal tubules in the obstructed kidney after UUO dependent on Smad3 signaling. Together the data demonstrate that the Smad3 pathway is central to the pathogenesis of interstitial fibrosis and suggest that inhibitors of this pathway may have clinical application in the treatment of obstructive nephropathy.
Project description:Background Renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis (TIF) plays an important role in the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its pathogenesis involves epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) upon renal injury. Recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) has been shown to display novel cytoprotective effects, in part by inhibiting transforming growth factor (TGF)-?1-induced EMT. Here, we evaluated the inhibitory effects of microparticles (MPs) derived from human EPO gene-transfected kidney mesenchymal stem cells (hEPO-KMSCs) against TGF-?1-induced EMT in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells and against TIF in mouse kidneys with unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). Methods EMT was induced in MDCK cells by treatment with TGF-?1 (5?ng/mL) for 48?h and then inhibited by co-treatment with rhEPO (100?IU/mL), mock gene-transfected KMSC-derived MPs (MOCK-MPs), or hEPO-KMSC-derived MPs (hEPO-MPs) for a further 48?h. UUO was induced in FVB/N mice, which were then treated with rhEPO (1000?IU/kg, intraperitoneally, every other day for 1?week), MOCK-MPs, or hEPO-MPs (80??g, intravenously). Alpha-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA), fibronectin, and E-cadherin expression were evaluated in MDCK cells and kidney tissues, and the extent of TIF in UUO kidneys was assessed by immunohistochemical staining. Results TGF-?1 treatment significantly increased ?-SMA and fibronectin expression in MDCK cells and decreased that of E-cadherin, while co-treatment with rhEPO, MOCK-MPs, or hEPO-MPs markedly attenuated these changes. In addition, rhEPO and hEPO-MP treatment effectively decreased phosphorylated Smad2 and Smad3, as well as phosphorylated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) expression, suggesting that rhEPO and rhEPO-MPs can inhibit TGF-?1-induced EMT via both Smad and non-Smad pathways. rhEPO and hEPO-MP treatment also significantly attenuated the extent of renal TIF after 1?week of UUO compared to MOCK-MPs, with hEPO-MPs significantly reducing myofibroblast and F4/80+ macrophage infiltration as well as EMT marker expression in UUO renal tissues in a similar manner to rhEPO. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that hEPO-MPs modulate TGF-?1-induced EMT in MDCK cells via the Smad2, Smad3, and p38 MAPK pathways and significantly attenuated renal TIF in UUO kidneys.
Project description:Obstructive nephropathy is the end result of a variety of diseases that block drainage from the kidney(s). Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)/Smad3-driven renal fibrosis is the common pathogenesis of obstructive nephropathy. In this study, we identified petchiether A (petA), a novel small-molecule meroterpenoid from Ganoderma, as a potential inhibitor of TGF-β1-induced Smad3 phosphorylation. The obstructive nephropathy was induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) in mice. Mice received an intraperitoneal injection of petA/vehicle before and after UUO or sham operation. An in vivo study revealed that petA protected against renal inflammation and fibrosis by reducing the infiltration of macrophages, inhibiting the expression of proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1β and tumour necrosis factor-α) and reducing extracellular matrix deposition (α-smooth muscle actin, collagen I and fibronectin) in the obstructed kidney of UUO mice; these changes were associated with suppression of Smad3 and NF-κB p65 phosphorylation. Petchiether A inhibited Smad3 phosphorylation in vitro and down-regulated the expression of the fibrotic marker collagen I in TGF-β1-treated renal epithelial cells. Further, we found that petA dose-dependently suppressed Smad3-responsive promoter activity, indicating that petA inhibits gene expression downstream of the TGF-β/Smad3 signalling pathway. In conclusion, our findings suggest that petA protects against renal inflammation and fibrosis by selectively inhibiting TGF-β/Smad3 signalling.