SREBP-1 Mediates Angiotensin II-Induced TGF-β1 Upregulation and Glomerular Fibrosis
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Angiotensin II is an important mediator of CKD of diverse etiology. A common pathologic feature of CKD is glomerular fibrosis, a central mediator of which is the profibrotic cytokine TGF-β. The mechanisms underlying the induction of TGF-β and matrix by angiotensin II are not completely understood. Recent studies showed that overexpression of the transcription factor SREBP-1 induces glomerular sclerosis and that angiotensin II can activate SREBP-1 in tubular cells. We thus studied whether SREBP-1 is activated by angiotensin II and mediates angiotensin II-induced profibrogenic responses in primary rat mesangial cells. Treatment of cells with angiotensin II induced the upregulation and activation of SREBP-1. Angiotensin II-induced activation of SREBP-1 required signaling through the angiotensin II type I receptor and activation of PI3K/Akt in addition to the chaperone SCAP and protease S1P. Notably, angiotensin II-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress was identified as a key mediator of Akt-SREBP-1 activation, and inhibition of endoplasmic reticulum stress or SREBP-1 prevented angiotensin II-induced SREBP-1 binding to the TGF-β promoter, TGF-β upregulation, and downstream fibronectin upregulation. Endoplasmic reticulum stress alone, however, did not induce TGF-β upregulation despite activating SREBP-1. Although not required for SREBP-1 activation by angiotensin II, EGF receptor signaling was necessary for activation of the SREBP-1 cotranscription factor Sp1, which provided a required second signal for TGF-β upregulation. In vivo, endoplasmic reticulum stress and SREBP-1-dependent effects were induced in glomeruli of angiotensin II-infused mice, and administration of the SREBP inhibitor fatostatin prevented angiotensin II-induced TGF-β upregulation and matrix accumulation. SREBP-1 and endoplasmic reticulum stress thus provide potential novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of CKD.
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