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Oncotarget. 2017 Jul 31;8(47):82674-82688. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.19752. eCollection 2017 Oct 10.

Identification of novel genetic regulations associated with airway epithelial homeostasis using next-generation sequencing data and bioinformatics approaches.

Sheu CC1,2,3, Tsai MJ1,2,3,4, Chen FW1, Chang KF5, Chang WA1,2, Chong IW2,4, Kuo PL1,6,7, Hsu YL1,7.

Author information

1
Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
2
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
3
Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
4
Department of Respiratory Therapy, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
5
Welgene Biotech Inc, Taipei, Taiwan.
6
Center for Biomarkers and Biotech Drugs, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
7
Graduate Institute of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Abstract

Airway epithelial cells play important roles in airway remodeling. Understanding gene regulations in airway epithelial homeostasis may provide new insights into pathogenesis and treatment of asthma. This study aimed to combine gene expression (GE) microarray, next generation sequencing (NGS), and bioinformatics to explore genetic regulations associated with airway epithelial homeostasis. We analyzed expression profiles of mRNAs (GE microarray) and microRNAs (NGS) in normal and asthmatic bronchial epithelial cells, and identified 9 genes with potential microRNA-mRNA interactions. Of these 9 dysregulated genes, downregulation of MEF2C and MDGA1 were validated in a representative microarray (GSE43696) from the gene expression omnibus (GEO) database. Our findings suggested that upregulated mir-203a may repress MEF2C, a transcription factor, leading to decreased cellular proliferation. In addition, upregulated mir-3065-3p may repress MDGA1, a cell membrane anchor protein, resulting in suppression of cell-cell adhesion. We also found that KCNJ2, a potassium channel, was downregulated in severe asthma and may promote epithelial cell apoptosis. We proposed that aberrant regulations of mir-203a-MEF2C and mir-3065-3p-MDGA1, as well as downregulation of KCNJ2, play important roles in airway epithelial homeostasis in asthma. These findings provide new perspectives on diagnostic or therapeutic strategies targeting bronchial epithelium for asthma. The approach in this study also provides a new aspect of studying asthma.

KEYWORDS:

airway remodeling; asthma; bioinformatics; microRNA; next-generation sequencing

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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