This project was awarded in 2011 and commenced in 2012:-
Project Title: ‘The microRNA‐29 is a regulator of diabetic renal fibrosis’
Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of chronic kidney failure in people with diabetes. In this proposal we follow up on exciting data demonstrating a clear relationship between the factors such as TGF-β, which are known to promote kidney scarring and result in kidney failure, and a novel class of small RNA molecules known as microRNAs. In particular we focus on one family of microRNAs, the miR-29 family, whose levels are decreased in the kidney during the course of diabetes. This decreased expression directly results in increased expression of several extracellular matrix proteins, resulting in progressive kidney scarring and ultimately kidney failure. The aim of this study is to determine the action of the miR-29 family in a number of important kidney cell populations and to determine whether restoring expression in the diabetic kidney can reduce or even prevent kidney failure.