Renal fibrosis is controlled by profibrotic and antifibrotic forces. Exploring anti-fibrosis factors and mechanisms is an attractive strategy to prevent organ failure. Here we identified the JNK-associated leucine zipper protein (JLP) as a potential endogenous antifibrotic factor. JLP, predominantly expressed in renal tubular epithelial cells (TECs) in normal human or mouse kidneys, was downregulated in fibrotic kidneys. Jlp deficiency resulted in more severe renal fibrosis in unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) mice, while renal fibrosis resistance was observed in TECs-specific transgenic Jlp mice. JLP executes its protective role in renal fibrosis via negatively regulating TGF-β1 expression and autophagy, and the profibrotic effects of ECM production, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in TECs. We further found that TGF-β1 and FGF-2 could negatively regulate the expression of JLP. Our study suggests that JLP plays a central role in renal fibrosis via its negative crosstalk with the profibrotic factor, TGF-β1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences