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      Inhibitory Effect of Statins on Renal Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition

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          Background/Aim: Recent studies have suggested that statins may play a role in the protection against renal failure which is independent of cholesterol reduction. Activation of RhoGTPases is a key step in renal tubular cells’ epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) which contributes to renal interstitial fibrosis. We hypothesized that statins could act by inhibiting the synthesis of the isoprenoids, such as geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, which is essential for membrane attachment and biological activity of RhoGTPases, RhoA and Rac1. Methods: Human proximal tubular epithelial cells (HK2) were used to examine the inhibitory effect of statins on EMT induced with medium conditioned by activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Results: Our study demonstrates that the statins lovastatin, simvastatin, and pravastatin inhibit HK2 cells to undergo EMT. Inhibition of EMT in HK2 cells with these statins resulted in a reduction of RhoA and Rac1 activation in both the cytoplasmic and membrane-bound forms, in preservation of the expression of the epithelial cell markers E-cadherin and cytokeratin-19, and in a decrease in Fn-EDA expression, a marker for the myofibroblast phenotype. The decreased levels of activated RhoA and Rac1 in both the cytoplasmic and membrane fractions of the cells were reversed by geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate and mevalonate, and thus attributable to the inhibition of isoprenylation of RhoGTPases by statins. Conclusion: This phenomenon could explain the beneficial effect of statins on EMT and on renal fibrosis prevention.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Rac Downregulates Rho Activity

          Using biochemical assays to determine the activation state of Rho-like GTPases, we show that the guanine nucleotide exchange factor Tiam1 functions as a specific activator of Rac but not Cdc42 or Rho in NIH3T3 fibroblasts. Activation of Rac by Tiam1 induces an epithelial-like morphology with functional cadherin-based adhesions and inhibits migration of fibroblasts. This epithelial phenotype is characterized by Rac-mediated effects on Rho activity. Transient PDGF-induced as well as sustained Rac activation by Tiam1 or V12Rac downregulate Rho activity. We found that Cdc42 also downregulates Rho activity. Neither V14Rho or N19Rho affects Rac activity, suggesting unidirectional signaling from Rac towards Rho. Downregulation of Rho activity occurs independently of Rac- induced cytoskeletal changes and cell spreading. Moreover, Rac effector mutants that are defective in mediating cytoskeleton changes or Jun kinase activation both downregulate Rho activity, suggesting that neither of these Rac signaling pathways are involved in the regulation of Rho. Restoration of Rho activity in Tiam1-expressing cells by expression of V14Rho results in reversion of the epithelioid phenotype towards a migratory, fibroblastoid morphology. We conclude that Rac signaling is able to antagonize Rho activity directly at the GTPase level, and that the reciprocal balance between Rac and Rho activity determines cellular morphology and migratory behavior in NIH3T3 fibroblasts.
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            Cdc42 and Rac1 induce integrin-mediated cell motility and invasiveness through PI(3)K.

            Transformation of mammary epithelial cells into invasive carcinoma results in alterations in their integrin-mediated responses to the extracellular matrix, including a loss of normal epithelial polarization and differentiation, and a switch to a more motile, invasive phenotype. Changes in the actin cytoskeleton associated with this switch suggest that the small GTPases Cdc42 and Rac, which regulate actin organization, might modulate motility and invasion. However, the role of Cdc42 and Rac1 in epithelial cells, especially with respect to integrin-mediated events, has not been well characterized. Here we show that activation of Cdc42 and Rac1 disrupts the normal polarization of mammary epithelial cells in a collagenous matrix, and promotes motility and invasion. This motility does not require the activation of PAK, JNK, p70 S6 kinase, or Rho, but instead requires phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI(3)K). Further, direct PI(3)K activation is sufficient to disrupt epithelial polarization and induce cell motility and invasion. PI(3)K inhibition also disrupts actin structures, suggesting that activation of PI(3)K by Cdc42 and Rac1 alters actin organization, leading to increased motility and invasiveness.
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              Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in Renal Fibrogenesis: Pathologic Significance, Molecular Mechanism, and Therapeutic Intervention

               Y. LIU (2004)

                Author and article information

                Am J Nephrol
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                September 2006
                15 September 2006
                : 26
                : 4
                : 381-387
                aTeijin Biomedical Laboratory, Medical Research Council Technology, and bRenal Medicine Section, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK; cInstitute for Biomedical Research, Teijin Pharma Ltd., Tokyo, Japan
                94780 Am J Nephrol 2006;26:381–387
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, References: 22, Pages: 7
                Self URI (application/pdf):
                Original Report: Laboratory Investigation


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