PKD1 and PKD2 mRNA cis-inhibition drives polycystic kidney disease progression

Ronak Lakhia, Harini Ramalingam, Chun Mien Chang, Patricia Cobo-Stark, Laurence Biggers, Andrea Flaten, Jesus Alvarez, Tania Valencia, Darren P. Wallace, Edmund C. Lee, Vishal Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), among the most common human genetic conditions and a frequent etiology of kidney failure, is primarily caused by heterozygous PKD1 mutations. Kidney cyst formation occurs when PKD1 dosage falls below a critical threshold. However, no framework exists to harness the remaining allele or reverse PKD1 decline. Here, we show that mRNAs produced by the noninactivated PKD1 allele are repressed via their 3′-UTR miR-17 binding element. Eliminating this motif (Pkd1∆17) improves mRNA stability, raises Polycystin-1 levels, and alleviates cyst growth in cellular, ex vivo, and mouse PKD models. Remarkably, Pkd2 is also inhibited via its 3′-UTR miR-17 motif, and Pkd2∆17-induced Polycystin-2 derepression retards cyst growth in Pkd1-mutant models. Moreover, acutely blocking Pkd1/2 cis-inhibition, including after cyst onset, attenuates murine PKD. Finally, modeling PKD1∆17 or PKD2∆17 alleles in patient-derived primary ADPKD cultures leads to smaller cysts, reduced proliferation, lower pCreb1 expression, and improved mitochondrial membrane potential. Thus, evading 3′-UTR cis-interference and enhancing PKD1/2 mRNA translation is a potentially mutation-agnostic ADPKD-arresting approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4765
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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