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      Abnormal miR-148b expression promotes aberrant glycosylation of IgA1 in IgA nephropathy.

      Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN

      Adolescent, Adult, Female, Galactosyltransferases, analysis, genetics, Glomerulonephritis, IGA, etiology, metabolism, Glycosylation, Humans, Immunoglobulin A, Male, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, MicroRNAs, physiology, Middle Aged

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          Aberrant O-glycosylation in the hinge region of IgA1 characterizes IgA nephropathy. The mechanisms underlying this abnormal glycosylation are not well understood, but reduced expression of the enzyme core 1, β1,3-galactosyltransferase 1 (C1GALT1) may contribute. In this study, high-throughput microRNA (miRNA) profiling identified 37 miRNAs differentially expressed in PBMCs of patients with IgA nephropathy compared with healthy persons. Among them, we observed upregulation of miR-148b, which potentially targets C1GALT1. Patients with IgA nephropathy exhibited lower C1GALT1 expression, which negatively correlated with miR-148b expression. Transfection of PBMCs from healthy persons with a miR-148b mimic reduced endogenous C1GALT1 mRNA levels threefold. Conversely, loss of miR-148b function in PBMCs of patients with IgA nephropathy increased C1GALT1 mRNA and protein levels to those observed in healthy persons. Moreover, we found that upregulation of miR-148b directly correlated with levels of galactose-deficient IgA1. In vitro, we used an IgA1-producing cell line to confirm that miR-148b modulates IgA1 O-glycosylation and the levels of secreted galactose-deficient IgA1. Taken together, these data suggest a role for miRNAs in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy. Abnormal expression of miR-148b may explain the aberrant glycosylation of IgA1, providing a potential pharmacologic target for IgA nephropathy.

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