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BMC Pulm Med. 2013 Nov 5;13:63. doi: 10.1186/1471-2466-13-63.

Altered microRNA expression profile during epithelial wound repair in bronchial epithelial cells.

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Laboratory of Molecular and Cell Biology, Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 27/33 Szpitalna St,, 60-572 Poznan, Poland.



Airway epithelial cells provide a protective barrier against environmental particles including potential pathogens. Epithelial repair in response to tissue damage is abnormal in asthmatic airway epithelium in comparison to the repair of normal epithelium after damage. The complex mechanisms coordinating the regulation of the processes involved in wound repair requires the phased expression of networks of genes. Small non-coding RNA molecules termed microRNAs (miRNAs) play a critical role in such coordinated regulation of gene expression. We aimed to establish if the phased expression of specific miRNAs is correlated with the repair of mechanically induced damage to the epithelium.


To investigate the possible involvement of miRNA in epithelial repair, we analyzed miRNA expression profiles during epithelial repair in a cell culture model using TaqMan-based quantitative real-time PCR in a TaqMan Low Density Array format. The expression of 754 miRNA genes at seven time points in a 48-hour period during the wound repair process was profiled using the bronchial epithelial cell line 16HBE14o- growing in monolayer.


The expression levels of numerous miRNAs were found to be altered during the wound repair process. These miRNA genes were clustered into 3 different patterns of expression that correlate with the further regulation of several biological pathways involved in wound repair. Moreover, it was observed that expression of some miRNA genes were significantly altered only at one time point, indicating their involvement in a specific stage of the epithelial wound repair.


In summary, miRNA expression is modulated during the normal repair processes in airway epithelium in vitro suggesting a potential role in regulation of wound repair.

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