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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 125469, 10 pages
Review Article

MicroRNAs in Kidney Fibrosis and Diabetic Nephropathy: Roles on EMT and EndMT

Department of Diabetology & Endocrinology, Kanazawa Medical University, Uchinada, Ishikawa 920-0293, Japan

Received 14 May 2013; Revised 12 July 2013; Accepted 2 August 2013

Academic Editor: Achilleas D. Theocharis

Copyright © 2013 Swayam Prakash Srivastava et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small, noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression in diverse biological and pathological processes, including cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and carcinogenesis. As a result, miRNAs emerged as major area of biomedical research with relevance to kidney fibrosis. Fibrosis is characterized by the excess deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) components, which is the end result of an imbalance of metabolism of the ECM molecule. Recent evidence suggests that miRNAs participate in the fibrotic process in a number of organs including the heart, kidney, liver, and lung. Epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) and endothelial mesenchymal transition (EndMT) programs play vital roles in the development of fibrosis in the kidney. A growing number of the extracellular and intracellular molecules that control EMT and EndMT have been identified and could be exploited in developing therapeutics for fibrosis. This review highlights recent advances on the role of miRNAs in the kidney diseases; diabetic nephropathy especially focused on EMT and EndMT program responsible for the development of kidney fibrosis. These miRNAs can be utilized as a potential novel drug target for the studying of underlying mechanism and treatment of kidney fibrosis.