Ferroptosis is a newly identified form of regulated cell death driven by iron-dependent phospholipid peroxidation and oxidative stress. Ferroptosis has distinct biological and morphology characteristics, such as shrunken mitochondria when compared to other known regulated cell deaths. The regulation of ferroptosis includes different molecular mechanisms and multiple cellular metabolic pathways, including glutathione/glutathione peroxidase 4(GPX4) signaling pathways, which are involved in the amino acid metabolism and the activation of GPX4; iron metabolic signaling pathways, which are involved in the regulation of iron import/export and the storage/release of intracellular iron through iron-regulatory proteins (IRPs), and lipid metabolic signaling pathways, which are involved in the metabolism of unsaturated fatty acids in cell membranes. Ferroptosis plays an essential role in the pathology of various kidneys diseases, including acute kidney injury (AKI), chronic kidney disease (CKD), autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), and renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Targeting ferroptosis with its inducers/initiators and inhibitors can modulate the progression of kidney diseases in animal models. In this review, we discuss the characteristics of ferroptosis and the ferroptosis-based mechanisms, highlighting the potential role of the main ferroptosis-associated metabolic pathways in the treatment and prevention of various kidney diseases.
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