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J Biol Chem. 2010 Jan 8;285(2):1479-89. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.057141. Epub 2009 Nov 4.

MicroRNA-7 modulates CD98 expression during intestinal epithelial cell differentiation.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Digestive Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


The transmembrane glycoprotein CD98 regulates multiple cellular functions, including extracellular signaling, epithelial cell adhesion/polarity, amino acid transport, and cell-cell interactions. MicroRNAs post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression, thereby functioning as modulators of numerous cellular processes, such as cell differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis. Here, we investigated if microRNAs regulate CD98 expression during intestinal epithelial cell differentiation and inflammation. We found that microRNA-7 repressed CD98 expression in Caco2-BBE cells by directly targeting the 3'-untranslated region of human CD98 mRNA. Expression of CD98 was decreased, whereas that of microRNA-7 was increased in well-differentiated Caco2-BBE cells compared with undifferentiated cells. Undifferentiated crypt cells isolated from mouse jejunum showed higher CD98 levels and lower levels of mmu-microRNA-706, a murine original microRNA candidate for CD98, than well-differentiated villus cells. Importantly, microRNA-7 decreased Caco2-BBE cell attachment on laminin-1, and CD98 overexpression recovered this inhibition, suggesting that microRNA-7 modulates epithelial cell adhesion to extracellular matrix, which in turn could affect proliferation and differentiation during the migration of enterocytes across the crypt-villus axis, by regulating CD98 expression. In a pathological context, the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 1-beta increased CD98 expression in Caco2-BBE cells by decreasing microRNA-7 levels. Consistent with the in vitro findings, microRNA-7 levels were decreased in actively inflamed Crohn disease colonic tissues, where CD98 expression was up-regulated, compared with normal tissues. Together, these results reveal a novel mechanism underlying regulation of CD98 expression during patho-physiological states. This study raises microRNAs as a promising target for therapeutic modulations of CD98 expression in intestinal inflammatory disorders.

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