Serum α-KL, a potential early marker of diabetes complications in youth with T1D, is regulated by miRNA 192.

05 Aug 2022
Gong Z, Banchs PAP, Liu Y, Fu H, Arena VC, Forno E, Libman I, Ho J, Muzumdar R

Despite the wealth of information on biomarkers of diabetes complications in adults with type 1 diabetes, data in the pediatric population is limited. Diabetic nephropathy (DN), the leading cause of mortality in type 1 diabetes T1D), could be potentially missed in youth, as albuminuria, the current "gold" standard, may be transient and may not reflect permanent renal impairment. Soluble alpha KL has emerged as a potential marker of early diabetic nephropathy. Seventy-nine pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes meeting ISPAD criteria for nephropathy screening were consecutively recruited (90% Caucasian, 51% male, mean age 16.1 ± 3.1 years, duration of T1D 7.2 ± 3.9 years, 2-year average HbA1c 8.0 ± 1.3%, and serum and urine samples were collected for analysis. Serum Klotho (KL) and circulating miRNA levels of select miRNA involved in the pathogenesis of DN were estimated. KL had a strong inverse correlation with diabetes duration and HbA1c, two important risk factors in the development of diabetes complications. Serum miR-192 were negatively associated with KL among children with prolonged duration of diabetes (≥12 years) after adjustment for age and sex. In cell culture, overexpression of miR-192 significantly downregulated KL mRNA and protein levels, and reduced KL levels in the media. miR-192 mimic reduced luciferase activity in a reporter containing the KL 3' UTR (60% compared to controls, p<0.01), and the inhibitor rescued it. Deletion of a potential binding site for miR-192 in the KL 3'UTR completely abolished the effect of miR-192 in the reporter assay, suggesting that KL is a direct target gene of miR-192. Overexpression of miR-192 significantly increased oxidative stress (MDA) and expression of inflammatory and senescence markers IL-6 and p16. Inhibition of miR-192 significantly reduced levels of MDA, IL-6 and p16. In summary, we demonstrate an increase in miR-192 and a decrease in KL levels in children with prolonged duration of T1D. We demonstrate a novel role for miR-192 in directly regulating KL levels, and through that, senescence and oxidative stress, key pathological processes in the development of DN. miR-192 and/or KL levels are altered with severity and duration of diabetes and could serve as early biomarkers for DN.