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The lncRNA MEG3/miRNA-21/P38MAPK axis inhibits Coxsackievirus 3 replication in acute viral myocarditis.

Virus Research 2023 October 20
Evidence is emerging on the roles of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) as regulatory factors in a variety of viral infection processes, but the mechanisms underlying their functions in coxsackievirus group B type3 (CVB3)-induced acute viral myocarditis have not been explicitly delineated. We previously demonstrated that CVB3 infection decreases miRNA-21 expression; however, lncRNAs that regulate the miRNA-21-dependent CVB3 disease process have yet to be identified. To evaluate lncRNAs upstream of miRNA-21, differentially expressed lncRNAs in CVB3-infected mouse hearts were identified by microarray analysis and lncRNA/miRNA-21 interactions were predicted bioinformatically. MEG3 was identified as a candidate miRNA-21-interacting lncRNA upregulated in CVB3-infected mouse hearts. MEG3 expression was verified to be upregulated in HeLa cells 48 h post CVB3 infection and to act as a competitive endogenous RNA of miRNA-21. MEG3 knockdown resulted in the upregulation of miRNA-21, which inhibited CVB3 replication by attenuating P38-MAPK signaling in vitro and in vivo. Knockdown of MEG3 expression before CVB3 infection inhibited viral replication in mouse hearts and alleviated cardiac injury, which improved survival. Furthermore, the knockdown of CREB5, which was predicted bioinformatically to function upstream of MEG3, was demonstrated to decrease MEG3 expression and CVB3 viral replication. This study identifies the function of the lncRNA MEG3/miRNA-21/P38 MAPK axis in the process of CVB3 replication, for which CREB5 could serve as an upstream modulator.

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