The molecular mediators of type 2 epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and their role in renal pathophysiology.

Abstract:

:Common to all forms of chronic kidney disease is the progressive scarring of the tubulo-interstitial space, associated with the acquisition and accumulation of activated myofibroblasts. Many of these myofibroblasts are generated when tubular epithelial cells progressively lose their epithelial characteristics (cell-cell contact, microvilli, tight-junction proteins, apical-basal polarity) and acquire features of a mesenchymal lineage, including stress fibres, filopodia and augmented matrix synthesis. This process, known as epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), plays an important role in progressive kidney disease. For EMT to occur in tubular cells, the transcriptional activation (and derepression) of genes required to sustain mesenchymal-type structures and functions (e.g. vimentin, alpha-smooth muscle actin) must occur alongside repression (or deactivation) of genes that act to maintain the epithelial phenotype (e.g. E-cadherin, bone morphogenic protein 7). Several factors have been suggested as potential initiators of EMT. With a few key exceptions, these triggers require the induction of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) and downstream mediators, including SMADs, CTGF, ILK and SNAI1. Activation of TGF-beta receptors is also able to stimulate a range of additional pathways (so-called non-SMAD activation), including RhoA, mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphoinositide 3-kinase signalling cascades, that also contribute to EMT and renal fibrogenesis. This review examines in detail the molecular mediators of EMT in tubular cells and its potential role as a long-lasting mediator of metabolic stress.

journal_name

Expert Rev Mol Med

authors

Burns WC,Thomas MC

doi

10.1017/S1462399410001481

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2010-05-27 00:00:00

pages

e17

issn

1462-3994

pii

S1462399410001481

journal_volume

12

pub_type

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