Nuclear factor (NF)-κB and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) play a critical role in diabetic nephropathy (DN). Sirtuin 1 (Sirt1) regulates transcriptional activation of target genes through protein deacetylation. Here, we determined the roles of Sirt1 and the effect of NF-κB (p65) and STAT3 acetylation in DN. We found that acetylation of p65 and STAT3 was increased in both mouse and human diabetic kidneys. In human podocytes, advanced glycation end products (AGEs) induced p65 and STAT3 acetylation and overexpression of acetylation-incompetent mutants of p65; STAT3 abrogated AGE-induced expression of NF-kB and STAT3 target genes. Inhibition of AGE formation in db/db mice by pyridoxamine treatment attenuated proteinuria and podocyte injury, restored Sirt1 expression, and reduced p65 and STAT3 acetylation. Diabetic db/db mice with conditional deletion of Sirt1 in podocytes developed more proteinuria, kidney injury, and acetylation of p65 and STAT3 compared with db/db mice without Sirt1 deletion. Treatment of db/db mice with a bromo and extra terminal (BET)–specific bromodomain inhibitor (MS417), which blocks acetylation-mediated association of p65 and STAT3 with BET proteins, attenuated proteinuria, and kidney injury. Our findings strongly support a critical role for p65 and STAT3 acetylation in DN. Targeting protein acetylation could be a potential new therapy for DN.
- Received November 27, 2013.
- Accepted February 10, 2014.
- © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association.
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