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Estrogen Receptor, Inflammatory, and FOXO Transcription Factors Regulate Expression of Myasthenia Gravis-Associated Circulating microRNAs.

Frontiers in immunology (2020-03-11)
Alyson A Fiorillo, Christopher R Heier, Yu-Fang Huang, Christopher B Tully, Tanel Punga, Anna Rostedt Punga
ABSTRACT

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that regulate important intracellular biological processes. In myasthenia gravis (MG), a disease-specific pattern of elevated circulating miRNAs has been found, and proposed as potential biomarkers. These elevated miRNAs include miR-150-5p, miR-21-5p, and miR-30e-5p in acetylcholine receptor antibody seropositive (AChR+) MG and miR-151a-3p, miR-423-5p, let-7a-5p, and let-7f-5p in muscle-specific tyrosine kinase antibody seropositive (MuSK+) MG. In this study, we examined the regulation of each of these miRNAs using chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) data from the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) to gain insight into the transcription factor pathways that drive their expression in MG. Our aim was to look at the transcription factors that regulate miRNAs and then validate some of those in vivo with cell lines that have sufficient expression of these transcription factors This analysis revealed several transcription factor families that regulate MG-specific miRNAs including the Forkhead box or the FOXO proteins (FoxA1, FoxA2, FoxM1, FoxP2), AP-1, interferon regulatory factors (IRF1, IRF3, IRF4), and signal transducer and activator of transcription proteins (Stat1, Stat3, Stat5a). We also found binding sites for nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFATC1), nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), early growth response factor (EGR1), and the estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1). AChR+ MG miRNAs showed a stronger overall regulation by the FOXO transcription factors, and of this group, miR-21-5p, let-7a, and let 7f were found to possess ESR1 binding sites. Using a murine macrophage cell line, we found activation of NF-κB -mediated inflammation by LPS induced expression of miR-21-5p, miR-30e-5p, miR-423-5p, let-7a, and let-7f. Pre-treatment of cells with the anti-inflammatory drugs prednisone or deflazacort attenuated induction of inflammation-induced miRNAs. Interestingly, the activation of inflammation induced packaging of the AChR+-specific miRNAs miR-21-5p and miR-30e-5p into exosomes, suggesting a possible mechanism for the elevation of these miRNAs in MG patient serum. In conclusion, our study summarizes the regulatory transcription factors that drive expression of AChR+ and MuSK+ MG-associated miRNAs. Our findings of elevated miR-21-5p and miR-30e-5p expression in immune cells upon inflammatory stimulation and the suppressive effect of corticosteroids strengthens the putative role of these miRNAs in the MG autoimmune response.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
(Z)-4-Hydroxytamoxifen, ≥98% Z isomer
Sigma-Aldrich
β-Estradiol, BioReagent, powder, suitable for cell culture
Sigma-Aldrich
RPMI-1640 Medium, Modified, with sodium bicarbonate, without L-glutamine and phenol red, liquid, sterile-filtered, suitable for cell culture