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Long noncoding RNA H19X is a key mediator of TGFβ driven fibrosis


Abstract

TGFβ is a master regulator of fibrosis, driving the differentiation of fibroblasts into apoptosis resistant myofibroblasts and sustaining the production of extracellular matrix (ECM) components. Here, we identify the nuclear lncRNA H19X as a master regulator of TGFβ-driven tissue fibrosis. H19X was consistently upregulated in a wide variety of human fibrotic tissues and diseases and was strongly induced by TGFβ, particularly in fibroblasts and fibroblast-related cells. Functional experiments following H19X silencing revealed that H19X is an obligatory factor for the TGFβ-induced ECM synthesis as well as differentiation and survival of ECM-producing myofibroblasts. We showed that H19X regulates DDIT4L gene expression, specifically interacting with a region upstream of DDIT4L gene and changing the chromatin accessibility of a DDIT4L enhancer. These events resulted in transcriptional repression of DDIT4L and, in turn, in increased collagen expression and fibrosis. Our results shed light on key effectors of the TGFβ-induced ECM remodeling and fibrosis.

Abstract

TGFβ is a master regulator of fibrosis, driving the differentiation of fibroblasts into apoptosis resistant myofibroblasts and sustaining the production of extracellular matrix (ECM) components. Here, we identify the nuclear lncRNA H19X as a master regulator of TGFβ-driven tissue fibrosis. H19X was consistently upregulated in a wide variety of human fibrotic tissues and diseases and was strongly induced by TGFβ, particularly in fibroblasts and fibroblast-related cells. Functional experiments following H19X silencing revealed that H19X is an obligatory factor for the TGFβ-induced ECM synthesis as well as differentiation and survival of ECM-producing myofibroblasts. We showed that H19X regulates DDIT4L gene expression, specifically interacting with a region upstream of DDIT4L gene and changing the chromatin accessibility of a DDIT4L enhancer. These events resulted in transcriptional repression of DDIT4L and, in turn, in increased collagen expression and fibrosis. Our results shed light on key effectors of the TGFβ-induced ECM remodeling and fibrosis.

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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
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Reconstructive Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:17 August 2020
Deposited On:07 Aug 2020 09:53
Last Modified:24 May 2024 01:38
Publisher:American Society for Clinical Investigation
ISSN:0021-9738
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI135439
PubMed ID:32603313
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)