Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 regulates NAD metabolism during acute kidney injury through microRNA-34a-mediated NAMPT expression

Justin B. Collier, Rick G. Schnellmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Prior studies have established the important role of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) as a mediator of acute kidney injury (AKI). We demonstrated rapid ERK1/2 activation induced renal dysfunction following ischemia/reperfusion (IR)-induced AKI and downregulated the mitochondrial biogenesis (MB) regulator, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) in mice. In this study, ERK1/2 regulation of cellular nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and PGC-1α were explored. Inhibition of ERK1/2 activation during AKI in mice using the MEK1/2 inhibitor, trametinib, attenuated renal cortical oxidized NAD (NAD+) depletion. The rate-limiting NAD biosynthesis salvage enzyme, NAMPT, decreased following AKI, and this decrease was prevented by ERK1/2 inhibition. The microRNA miR34a decreased with the inhibition of ERK1/2, leading to increased NAMPT protein. Mice treated with a miR34a mimic prevented increases in NAMPT protein in the renal cortex in the presence of ERK1/2 inhibition. In addition, ERK1/2 activation increased acetylated PGC-1α, the less active form, whereas inhibition of ERK1/2 activation prevented an increase in acetylated PGC-1α after AKI through SIRT1 and NAD+ attenuation. These results implicate IR-induced ERK1/2 activation as an important contributor to the downregulation of both PGC-1α and NAD+ pathways that ultimately decrease cellular metabolism and renal function. Inhibition of ERK1/2 activation prior to the initiation of IR injury attenuated decreases in PGC-1α and NAD+ and prevented kidney dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3643-3655
Number of pages13
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Cellular metabolism
  • ERK1/2
  • Ischemia–reperfusion
  • Kidney
  • Mitochondrial biogenesis
  • Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide
  • miR-34a

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 regulates NAD metabolism during acute kidney injury through microRNA-34a-mediated NAMPT expression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this