Mol Cell Biol . 2021 Jun 23;41(7):e0001621. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00016-21. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

MicroRNA 181a-2-3p Alleviates the Apoptosis of Renal Tubular Epithelial Cells via Targeting GJB2 in Sepsis-Induced Acute Kidney Injury

Hui-Xing Yi #  1 Shou-Yin Jiang #  2 Ling-Hua Yu  3 Kan Chen  1 Zeng-Xiang Yang  1 Qin Wu  1 Affiliations


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is the most common complication of sepsis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in the sepsis-induced AKI. This paper aimed to explore the role of miRNA 181a-2-3p (miR-181a-2-3p) in the sepsis-induced AKI and the underlying mechanism. Our results revealed that miR-181a-2-3p showed low expression levels in patients with sepsis and mouse models undergoing cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). The addition of miR-181a-2-3p antagonists aggravated the sepsis-induced kidney injuries and inflammatory response in CLP mouse models, as suggested by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). In addition, miR-181a-2-3p mimic alleviated the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory response, along with apoptosis of TCMK-1. Moreover, results from the GSE46955 data set indicated that GJB2 was highly expressed in septic patients but lowly expressed after recovery. Further, the dual-luciferase reporter assay and RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP) assay were carried out, which confirmed that GJB2 was a target of miR-181a-2-3p, and overexpression of GJB2 reversed the anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic effects of miR-181a-2-3p mimic on the LPS-induced sepsis cell models. In conclusion, miR-181a-2-3p alleviates the inflammatory response and cell apoptosis of septic patients and animal models by upregulating GJB2 expression, which may provide a new therapeutic strategy for sepsis.

Keywords: GJB2; apoptosis; inflammatory response; miR-181a-2-3p; sepsis.