Overexpressed microRNA-140 inhibits pulmonary fibrosis in interstitial lung disease via the Wnt signaling pathway by downregulating osteoglycin

Songtao Shi, Hongli Li
American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology 2020 August 5
Interstitial lung disease (ILD) comprises of a group of diffuse parenchymal lung disorders that are strongly associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have highlighted the therapeutic significance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the treatment of ILD. Thus, this study aims to investigate the mechanism by which miR-140 affects ILD through the regulation of osteoglycin (OGN)-Wnt signaling pathway. Gene expression microarray analysis was performed to screen ILD-related differentially expressed genes and miRNAs that regulated OGN. The targeting relationship between miR-140 and OGN was verified. Ectopic expression and knockdown experiments were performed in lung fibroblasts to explore the potential mechanism of action of miR-140 in ILD. The expression of miR-140, OGN, as well as Wnt- and pulmonary fibrosis-related factors was determined by RT-qPCR and Western blot analysis. In addition, cell viability and apoptosis were examined. OGN was found to be negatively regulated by miR-140. The ectopic expression of miR-140 and OGN silencing resulted in increased lung fibroblast apoptosis and Wnt3a expression, along with reduced proliferation and pulmonary fibrosis. Our results also revealed that miR-140 decreased OGN, thereby activating the Wnt signaling pathway which was observed to further affect the expression of genes associated with the progression of pulmonary fibrosis in mouse fibroblasts. In conclusion, the key findings from our study suggest that overexpressed miR-140 suppresses ILD development via the Wnt signaling pathway by downregulating OGN, which could potentially be used as a therapeutic target for ILD.

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