Accumulating evidence demonstrated that miRNAs are highly involved in kidney fibrosis and Epithelial-Eesenchymal Transition (EMT), however, the mechanisms of miRNAs in kidney fibrosis are poorly understood. In this work, we identified that miR542-3p could promote EMT through down-regulating bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7) expression by targeting BMP7 3'UTR. Firstly, real-time PCR results showed that miR542-3p was significantly up-regulated in kidney fibrosis in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, Western blot results demonstrated that miR542-3p may promote EMT in the NRK52e cell line. In addition, we confirmed that BMP7, which played a crucial role in anti-kidney fibrosis and suppressed the progression of EMT, was a target of miR542-3p through Dual-Luciferase reporter assay, as did Western blot analysis. The effects of miR542-3p on regulating EMT could also be suppressed by transiently overexpressing BMP7 in NRK52e cells. Taken together, miR542-3p may be a critical mediator of the induction of EMT via directly targeting BMP7.
Keywords: Epithelial-Eesenchymal Transition (EMT); bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7); kidney fibrosis; miR542-3p; transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFβ1).