MicroRNAs (miRNAs) possess an important regulating effect among numerous renal diseases, while their functions in the process of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) after podocyte injury remain unclear. The purpose of our study is to identify the potential functions of miR-30a in EMT of podocytes and explore the underlying mechanisms of miR-30a in the impaired podocytes. The results revealed that downregulation of miR-30a in podocyte injury animal models and patients, highly induced the mesenchymal markers of EMT including Collagen I, Fibronectin and Snail. Furthermore, overexpression of miR-30a enhances epithelial markers (E-cadherin) but diminished mesenchymal markers (Collagen I, Fibronectin and Snail) in podocytes. In addition, we established miR-30a target NFATc3, an important transcription factor of Non-canonical Wnt signaling pathway. More importantly, our findings demonstrated that the augmentation of miR-30a level in podocytes inhibits the nuclear translocation of NFATc3 to protect cytoskeleton disorder or rearrangement. In summary, we uncovered the protective function of miR30a targeting NFATc3 in the regulation of podocyte injury response to EMT.
Keywords: epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT); microRNA-30a (miR-30a); nuclear factor of activated T cells 3 (NFATc3); podocyte.