The negative feedback loop of NF-κB/ miR-376b/NFKBIZ in septic acute kidney injury

Zhiwen Liu, Chengyuan Tang, Liyu He, Danyi Yang, Juan Cai, Jiefu Zhu, Shaoqun Shu, Yuxue Liu, Lijun Yin, Guochun Chen, Yu Liu, Dongshan Zhang, Zheng Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Sepsis is the leading cause of acute kidney injury (AKI). However, the pathogenesis of septic AKI remains largely unclear. Here, we demonstrate a significant decrease of microRNA-376b (miR-376b) in renal tubular cells in mice with septic AKI. Urinary miR-376b in these mice was also dramatically decreased. Patients with sepsis with AKI also had significantly lower urinary miR-376b than patients with sepsis without AKI, supporting its diagnostic value for septic AKI. LPS treatment of renal tubular cells led to the activation of NF-κB, and inhibition of NF-κB prevented a decrease of miR-376b. ChIP assay further verified NF-κB binding to the miR-376b gene promoter upon LPS treatment. Functionally, miR-376b mimics exaggerated tubular cell death, kidney injury, and intrarenal production of inflammatory cytokines, while inhibiting miR-376b afforded protective effects in septic mice. Interestingly, miR-376b suppressed the expression of NF-κB inhibitor ζ (NFKBIZ) in both in vitro and in vivo models of septic AKI. Luciferase microRNA target reporter assay further verified NFKBIZ as a direct target of miR-376b. Collectively, these results illustrate the NF-κB/miR-376b/NFKBIZ negative feedback loop that regulates intrarenal inflammation and tubular damage in septic AKI. Moreover, urinary miR-376b is a potential biomarker for the diagnosis of AKI in patients with sepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere142272
JournalJCI Insight
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 17 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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