Sphingosine kinase 1 protects renal tubular epithelial cells from renal fibrosis via induction of autophagy.


Autophagy is an important homoeostatic mechanism for the lysosomal degradation of protein aggregates and damaged cytoplasmic components. Recent studies suggest that autophagy which is induced by TGF-β1 suppresses kidney fibrosis in renal tubular epithelial cells (RTECs) of obstructed kidneys. Sphingosine kinase 1(SK1), converting sphingosine into endogenous sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), was shown to modulate autophagy and involved in the processes of fibrotic diseases. Since SK1 activity is also up-regulated by TGF-β1, we explored its effect on the induction of autophagy and development of renal fibrosis in this study. In vitro, SK1 expression and activity were markedly increased by TGF-β1 stimulation in a time and concentration dependent manner, and concomitant changes in autophagic response were observed in HK-2 cells. Further, knockdown of SK-1 led to a decrease of autophagy whereas overexpression of SK1 caused a greater induction of autophagy. In addition, overexpression of SK1 resulted in decreased of mature TGF-β levels through autophagic degradation. In vivo, SK1 enzymatic activity and autophagic response were both up-regulated in a mouse model of kidney fibrosis induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO); meanwhile, increased of mature TGF-β1 and deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) were observed in tubulointerstitial areas compared with sham-operated mice. However, aggravation of renal fibrosis was detected when SK1 inhibitor PF-543 was applied to suppress SK1 enzymatic activity in UUO mice. At the same time, autophagy was also inhibited by PF-543. Thus, our findings suggest that SK1 activation is renoprotective via induction of autophagy in the fibrotic process.

DOI: 10.1016/j.biocel.2017.07.011

Cite this paper

@article{Du2017SphingosineK1, title={Sphingosine kinase 1 protects renal tubular epithelial cells from renal fibrosis via induction of autophagy.}, author={Chunyang Du and Yunzhuo Ren and Fang Yao and Jialiang Duan and Hui'er Zhao and Yunxia Du and Xia Xiao and Huijun Duan and Yonghong Shi}, journal={The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology}, year={2017}, volume={90}, pages={17-28} }