Poricoic acid ZA, a novel RAS inhibitor, attenuates tubulo-interstitial fibrosis and podocyte injury by inhibiting TGF-β/Smad signaling pathway.Phytomedicine. 2017 Dec 01; 36:243-253.P
The pathogenesis of tubulo-interstitial fibrosis and glomerulosclerosisis was characterized by cellular hypertrophy, extracellular matrix accumulation and podocyte detachment. Poricoic acid ZA (PZA) is a tetracyclic triterpenoid compound extracted from the surface layer of Poria cocos (LPC), which have been used extensively for diuretic and renoprotective effects.
The anti-fibrotic effect of PZA is investigated in HK-2 cells and podocytes induced by TGF-β1 and angiotensin II (ANGII). qRT-PCR, siRNA, immunofluorescence staining, co-immunoprecipitation and Western blot analyses are used to evaluate the expression of RAS signaling, TGF-β/Smad pathway, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and podocyte markers.
PZA restores the mRNA and protein expression of EMT in HK-2 cells. Specific TGF-β1-siRNA efficiently blocks ANGII-induced protein expression of TGF-β1 and further inhibits activated Smad signaling. PZA significantly attenuates up-regulation of angiotensinogen, renin, ACE and AT1. Further, PZA reverses up-regulation of TGFβRII and suppresses Smad proteins. Simultaneously, PZA inhibits the protein interaction of TGF-β receptor and Smads and PZA also inhibits activated RAS and TGF-β/Smad signaling cascade and up-regulates protein expression of podocyte markers and mitigates podocyte injury.
This study demonstrated the beneficial role of PZA in renal fibrosis and podocyte injury. Our study highlighted that PZA inhibits RAS and further suppresses TGF-β/Smad pathway through inhibiting Smad2/3 phosphorylation via blocking Smad2/3-TGFβRI protein interaction. PZA is implicated in activation of RAS/TGF-β/Smad axis in HK-2 cells and podocytes. PZA could be considered as a novel RAS inhibitor for treating CKD.