To investigate the effect of stimulation of human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) by arterial traffic ambient PM2.5 (TAPM2.5) and wood smoke PM2.5 (WSPM2.5) on the expression of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in order to find new therapeutic targets for treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). HBECs were exposed to TAPM2.5 and WSPM2.5 at a series of concentrations. The microarray analysis was used to detect the lncRNA and mRNA expression profiles. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis and gene ontology (GO) enrichment were conducted to analyze the differentially expressed lncRNAs and mRNAs. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was performed to confirm the differential expression of lncRNAs. Western blot was performed to study the expression of autophagy and apoptosis-associated proteins. Flow cytometry was used to detect the apoptotic cells. The results indicated that fine particulate matter (PM2.5)-induced cell damage of HBECs occurred in a dose-dependent manner. The microarray analysis indicated that treatment with TAPM2.5 and WSPM2.5 led to the alteration of lncRNA and mRNA expression profiles. LncRNA maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3) was significantly up-regulated in HBECs after PM2.5 treatment. The results of Western blot showed that PM2.5 induced cell apoptosis and autophagy by up-regulating apoptosis-associated gene, caspase-3, and down-regulating autophagy-associated markers, Bcl-2 and LC3 expression. In addition, we demonstrated that TAPM2.5 and WSPM2.5 accelerated apoptosis of human bronchial (HBE) cells, silencing of MEG3 suppressed apoptosis and autophagy of HBE cells. These findings suggested that the lncRNA MEG3 mediates PM2.5-induced cell apoptosis and autophagy, and probably through regulating the expression of p53.
Li, X., Zheng, M., Pu, J., Zhou, Y., Hong, W., Fu, X., … Ran, P. (2018). Identification of abnormally expressed lncRNAs induced by PM2.5 in human bronchial epithelial cells. Bioscience Reports, 38(5). https://doi.org/10.1042/BSR20171577