Serum response factor (SRF) was found to be involved in the phenotypic transition and fibrosis of the peritoneal membrane during treatment with peritoneal dialysis (PD), but the exact mechanism remains unclear. SRF regulates microRNAs (miRNAs) that contain the SRF-binding consensus (CArG) element in the promoter region. Therefore,weinvestigated whether the miR-199a/214 gene cluster, which contains aCArG element in its promoter, is directly regulated by SRF. High-glucose (HG) treatment significantly unregulated the expression of the miR-199a-5p/214-3p gene cluster in human peritoneal mesothelial cells (HPMCs). By chromatin immunoprecipitation and reporter assays, we found that SRF binds to the miR-199a-5p/214-3p gene cluster promoter after HG stimulation. In vitro, in HPMCs, silencing of miR-199a-5p or miR-214-3p inhibited the HG-induced phenotypic transition and cell migration but enhanced cell adhesion, whereas ectopic expression of mimic oligonucleotides had the opposite effects. Both miR-199a-5p and miR-214-3p targeted claudin-2 and E-cadherin mRNAs. In a PD rat model, treatment with an SRF inhibitor silenced miR-199a-5p and miR-214-3p and alleviated HG-PD fluid-induced damage and fibrosis. Overall, this study reveals a novel SRF-miR-199a/miR-214-E-cadherin/claudin-2 axis that mediates damage and fibrosis in PD.
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