Marked TGF-β-regulated miRNA expression changes in both COPD and control lung fibroblasts

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Scientific Reports, 2019, 9 (1)
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© 2019, The Author(s). COPD is associated with disturbed tissue repair, possibly due to TGF-β-regulated miRNA changes in fibroblasts. Our aim was to identify TGF-β-regulated miRNAs and their differential regulation and expression in COPD compared to control fibroblasts. Small RNA sequencing was performed on TGF-β-stimulated and unstimulated lung fibroblasts from 15 COPD patients and 15 controls. Linear regression was used to identify TGF-β-regulated and COPD-associated miRNAs. Interaction analysis was performed to compare miRNAs that responded differently to TGF-β in COPD and control. Re-analysis of previously generated Ago2-IP data and Enrichr were used to identify presence and function of potential target genes in the miRNA-targetome of lung fibroblasts. In total, 46 TGF-β-regulated miRNAs were identified in COPD and 86 in control fibroblasts (FDR < 0.05). MiR-27a-5p was the most significantly upregulated miRNA. MiR-148b-3p, miR-589-5p and miR-376b-3p responded differently to TGF-β in COPD compared to control (FDR < 0.25). MiR-660-5p was significantly upregulated in COPD compared to control (FDR < 0.05). Several predicted targets of miR-27a-5p, miR-148b-3p and miR-660-5p were present in the miRNA-targetome, and were mainly involved in the regulation of gene transcription. In conclusion, altered TGF-β-induced miRNA regulation and differential expression of miR-660-5p in COPD fibroblasts, may represent one of the mechanisms underlying aberrant tissue repair and remodelling in COPD.
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