Beneficial effects of SGLT2 inhibitors on kidney function are well-known; however, their molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. We focused on 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78) and its interaction with SGLT2 and Integrin ß1 beyond the chaperone property of GRP78. In STZinduced diabetic mouse kidneys, GRP78, SGLT2, and Integrin ß1 increased in the plasma membrane fraction, while they were suppressed by canagliflozin. The altered subcellular localization of GRP78/Integrin ß1 in STZ mice promoted epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) and fibrosis, which were mitigated by canagliflozin. High glucose conditions reduced intracellular GRP78, increased its secretion, and caused EMT-like changes in cultured HK2 cells, which were again inhibited by canagliflozin. Urinary GRP78 increased in STZ mice, and in vitro experiments with recombinant GRP78 suggested that inflammation spread to surrounding tubular cells and canagliflozin reversed this effect. Under normal glucose culture, canagliflozin maintained SERCA activity, promoted endoplasmic reticulum (ER) robustness, reduced ER stress response impairment, and protected proximal tubular cells. In conclusion, canagliflozin restored subcellular localization of GRP78, SGLT2 and Integrin ß1 and inhibited EMT and fibrosis in DKD. In non-diabetic CKD, canagliflozin promoted ER robustness by maintaining SERCA activity and preventing ER stress response failure, and contribute to tubular protection.

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