Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress significantly contribute to the development and progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The NOD-like receptor family pyrin containing domain- 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome plays a key role in the inflammatory response. The renal endothelin (ET) system is activated in all cases of CKD. Furthermore, ET-1 promotes renal cellular injury, inflammation, fibrosis and proteinuria. Endothelin-converting enzymes (ECEs) facilitate the final processing step of ET synthesis. However, the roles of ECEs in CKD are not clear. In this study, we investigated the effects of ETs and ECEs on kidney cells. We found that ET-1 and ET-2 expression was significantly upregulated in the renal tissues of CKD patients. ET-1 and ET-2 showed no cytotoxicity on human kidney tubular epithelial cells. However, ET-1 and ET-2 caused endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and NLRP3 inflammasome activation in tubular epithelial cells. The ECE inhibitor phosphoramidon induced autophagy. Furthermore, phosphoramidon inhibited ER stress and the NLRP3 inflammasome in tubular epithelial cells. In an adenine diet-induced CKD mouse model, phosphoramidon attenuated the progression of CKD by regulating autophagy, the NLRP3 inflammasome and ER stress. In summary, these findings showed a new strategy to delay CKD progression by inhibiting ECEs through autophagy activation and restraining ER stress and the NLRP3 inflammasome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number398
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Autophagy
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Endothelin-converting enzymes
  • Inflammasome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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