Interplay between long non-coding RNA MALAT1 and pyroptosis in diabetic nephropathy patients

Gene. 2023 Jan 30;851:146978. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2022.146978. Epub 2022 Oct 18.


Diabetic nephropathy (DN) the most common micro-vascular diabetic complication is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease worldwide. Diagnosis and treatment of DN in its early stage can effectively guard against its progression. Recently, pyroptosis a special type of lytic cell death and noncoding RNA were reported to have roles in early diagnosis and progression of DN. The present study aimed to evaluate the role played by long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) MALAT1, oxidative stress and pyroptosis in early detection of DN. Sixty Type 2 DM patients were included and divided according to urinary albumin-creatinine (UACR) ratio into normoalbuminuria and microalbuminuria groups beside 20 age and sex matched healthy volunteers as controls. Serum caspase 1 and interleukin 18 (IL18) levels were immunoassayed and MALAT1 expression was assessed by real-time PCR. Additionally, glycemic, redox and inflammatory status were assessed. MALAT1 expression, serum caspase1 level, IL18 level, myeloperoxidase activity, and protein carbonyl level were significantly increased in micro-albuinuria diabetic group when compared with diabetic normo-albuminuria group. Meanwhile, catalase activity was significantly decreased. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis revealed that IL18 had the highest sensitivity and diagnostic accuracy for detecting early microalbuminuria and incipient DN followed by caspase1and lastly MALALT1. CONCLUSION: Pyroptosis, impaired redox and altered MALAT1 expression could be an underlying mechanism for DN development. Moreover, MALAT1 expression, caspase 1 and IL 18 levels could be regarded as a potential biomarker for early prediction of DN.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus (DM); Diabetic nephropathy (DN); Interleukin 18 (IL18); Metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1(MALAT1); Receiver operating characteristic (ROC); urinary albumin-creatinine (UACR).

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria / diagnosis
  • Albuminuria / genetics
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Caspase 1
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / genetics
  • Diabetic Nephropathies* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-18 / genetics
  • Pyroptosis*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding* / genetics


  • Biomarkers
  • Caspase 1
  • Interleukin-18
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • MALAT1 long non-coding RNA, human