The roles of two miRNAs in regulating the immune response of sea cucumber

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From: Genetics(Vol. 201, Issue 4)
Publisher: Genetics Society of America
Document Type: Author abstract; Report
Length: 277 words

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Abstract :

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as key regulators in many pathological processes by suppressing the transcriptional and post-transcriptional expression of target genes. MiR-2008 was previously found to be significantly up-regulated in diseased sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus by high-through sequencing, whereas the reads of miR-137, a well-documented tumor repressor, displayed no significant change. In the present study, we found that miR-137 expression was slightly attenuated and miR-2008 was significantly enhanced after Vibrio splendidus infection or Lipopolysaccharides application. Further target screening and dual-luciferase reporter assay revealed that the two important miRNAs shared a common target gene of betaineuhomocysteine S-methyltransferase (AjBHMT), which exhibited noncorrelated messenger RNA and protein expression patterns after bacterial challenge. In order to fully understand their regulatory mechanisms, we conducted the functional experiments in vitro and in vivo. The overexpression of miR-137 in sea cucumber or primary coelomocytes significantly decreased, whereas the inhibition of miR-137 increased the mRNA and protein expression levels of AjBHMT. In contrast, miR-2008 overexpression and inhibition showed no effect on AjBHMT mRNA levels, but the concentration of AjBHMT protein displayed significant changes both in vitro and in vivo. Consistently, the homocysteine (Hcy) contents were also accordingly altered in the aberrant expression analysis of both miRNAs, consistent with the results of the AjBHMT silencing assay in vitro and in vivo. More importantly, small interfering RNA mediated AjBHMT knockdown and Hcy exposure analyses both significantly increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and decreased the number of surviving invasive pathogen in sea cucumber coelomocytes. Taken together, these findings confirmed the differential roles of sea cucumber miR-137 and miR-2008 in regulating the common target AjBHMT to promote ROS production and the clearance of pathogenic microorganisms through Hcy accumulation.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A440711151