The following is a summary of “CircHOMER1 aggravates oxidative stress, inflammation and extracellular matrix deposition in high glucose-induced human mesangial cells” published in the October 2022 issue of Nephrology by Shu et al.

Circular RNAs (circRNAs), which include diabetic nephropathy (DN), are crucial regulators in human illnesses. For a study, researchers sought to investigate the function and mechanism of circHOMER1 activity in DN.

To imitate DN cell models, human mesangial cells (HMCs) were treated with high glucose (HG). To evaluate the expression of circHOMER1, microRNA (miR)-137, and SRY-box transcription factor 6 (SOX6), quantitative real-time PCR was used. For the purpose of assessing cell oxidative stress, SOD activity and MDA levels were found. Analysis of the levels of inflammatory factors was done using the ELISA test. Western blot analysis measured the protein levels of SOX6 and markers linked to extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition. By using a dual-luciferase reporter assay and an RNA pull-down experiment, the relationship between miR-137 and circHOMER1 or SOX6 was examined.

CircHOMER1 was substantially expressed in DN patients and HG-induced HMCs. In HMCs, HG-induced oxidative damage, inflammation, and ECM deposition were reduced by downregulating circHOMER1. CircHOMER1 may act as a miR-137 sponge to control SOX6. Function tests revealed that SOX6 overexpression or a miR-137 inhibitor reversed the detrimental effects of circHOMER1 knockdown on HG-induced HMCs damage. Additionally, in DN patients, miR-137 expression was inversely linked with circHOMER1 and SOX6 expression.

CircHOMER1 may be a target for DN therapy since it increased HG-induced HMCs’ oxidative stress, inflammation, and ECM buildup via the miR-137/SOX6 axis.