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OTUD6B-AS1 Might Be a Novel Regulator of Apoptosis in Systemic Sclerosis


Abstract

Antisense long non-coding RNAs (AS lncRNAs) have increasingly been recognized as important regulators of gene expression and they have been found to play key roles in several diseases. However, very little is known about the role of AS lncRNAs in fibrotic diseases such as systemic sclerosis (SSc). Our recent screening experiments by RNA sequencing showed that ovarian tumor domain containing 6B antisense RNA1 (OTUD6B-AS1) and its sense gene OTUD6B were significantly downregulated in SSc skin biopsies. Therefore, we aimed to identify key regulators of OTUD6B-AS1 and to analyze the functional relevance of OTUD6B-AS1 in SSc. OTUD6B-AS1 and OTUD6B expression in SSc and healthy control (HC) dermal fibroblasts (Fb) after stimulation with transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ), Interleukin (IL)-4, IL-13, and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) was analyzed by qPCR. To identify the functional role of OTUD6B-AS1, dermal Fb or human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (HPASMC) were transfected with a locked nucleic acid antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) targeting OTUD6B-AS1. Proliferation was measured by BrdU and real-time proliferation assay. Apoptosis was measured by Caspase 3/7 assay and Western blot for cleaved caspase 3. While no difference was recorded at the basal level between HC and SSc dermal Fb, the expression of OTUD6B-AS1 and OTUD6B was significantly downregulated in both SSc and HC dermal Fb after PDGF stimulation in a time-dependent manner. Only mild and inconsistent effects were observed with TGFβ, IL-4, and IL-13. OTUD6B-AS1 knockdown in Fb and HPASMC did not affect extracellular matrix or pro-fibrotic/proinflammatory cytokine production. However, OTUD6B-AS1 knockdown significantly increased Cyclin D1 expression at the mRNA and protein level. Moreover, silencing of OTUD6B-AS1 significantly reduced proliferation and suppressed apoptosis in both dermal Fb and HPASMC. OTUD6B-AS1 knockdown did not affect OTUD6B expression at the mRNA level and protein level. Our data suggest that OTUD6B-AS1 regulates proliferation and apoptosis via cyclin D1 expression in a sense gene independent manner. This is the first report investigating the function of OTUD6B-AS1. Our data shed light on a novel apoptosis resistance mechanism in Fb and vascular smooth muscle cells that might be relevant for pathogenesis of SSc.

Abstract

Antisense long non-coding RNAs (AS lncRNAs) have increasingly been recognized as important regulators of gene expression and they have been found to play key roles in several diseases. However, very little is known about the role of AS lncRNAs in fibrotic diseases such as systemic sclerosis (SSc). Our recent screening experiments by RNA sequencing showed that ovarian tumor domain containing 6B antisense RNA1 (OTUD6B-AS1) and its sense gene OTUD6B were significantly downregulated in SSc skin biopsies. Therefore, we aimed to identify key regulators of OTUD6B-AS1 and to analyze the functional relevance of OTUD6B-AS1 in SSc. OTUD6B-AS1 and OTUD6B expression in SSc and healthy control (HC) dermal fibroblasts (Fb) after stimulation with transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ), Interleukin (IL)-4, IL-13, and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) was analyzed by qPCR. To identify the functional role of OTUD6B-AS1, dermal Fb or human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (HPASMC) were transfected with a locked nucleic acid antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) targeting OTUD6B-AS1. Proliferation was measured by BrdU and real-time proliferation assay. Apoptosis was measured by Caspase 3/7 assay and Western blot for cleaved caspase 3. While no difference was recorded at the basal level between HC and SSc dermal Fb, the expression of OTUD6B-AS1 and OTUD6B was significantly downregulated in both SSc and HC dermal Fb after PDGF stimulation in a time-dependent manner. Only mild and inconsistent effects were observed with TGFβ, IL-4, and IL-13. OTUD6B-AS1 knockdown in Fb and HPASMC did not affect extracellular matrix or pro-fibrotic/proinflammatory cytokine production. However, OTUD6B-AS1 knockdown significantly increased Cyclin D1 expression at the mRNA and protein level. Moreover, silencing of OTUD6B-AS1 significantly reduced proliferation and suppressed apoptosis in both dermal Fb and HPASMC. OTUD6B-AS1 knockdown did not affect OTUD6B expression at the mRNA level and protein level. Our data suggest that OTUD6B-AS1 regulates proliferation and apoptosis via cyclin D1 expression in a sense gene independent manner. This is the first report investigating the function of OTUD6B-AS1. Our data shed light on a novel apoptosis resistance mechanism in Fb and vascular smooth muscle cells that might be relevant for pathogenesis of SSc.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Rheumatology Clinic and Institute of Physical Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:17 May 2019
Deposited On:26 Jun 2019 11:52
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:36
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-3224
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.01100
PubMed ID:31156645

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