Dig Dis Sci.2022 Mar 21.doi: 10.1007/s10620-022-07453-4.

UBE2W Improves the Experimental Colitis by Inhibiting the NF-κB Signaling Pathway

Shaoxin Wang  1 Jiang Pu  1 Xiaowei Li  1 Zhihui Yan  1 Chao Li  1 Yan Zheng  1 Zhe Luo  1 Lihong Cui  2 Affiliations


Background: The NF-κB signaling cascade regulates immune response and is often dysregulated in tumor development. UBE2W is a novel type I ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (E2) whose biological function is still unclear.

Aims: This study was designed to investigate whether UBE2W regulates NF-κB signaling pathway and is involved in the progression of experimental colitis.

Methods: At the cellular level, the effect of UBE2W on NF-κB transcriptional activity was measured using a dual-luciferase reporter assay. The influence of UBE2W on NF-κB pathway activation and the entry of p65 into the nucleus were determined by Western blot and immunofluorescence analyses, respectively. Moreover, the colitis model was established by administering 2.5% dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)/water to UBE2W overexpression, UBE2W-knockdown and control mice. Body weight, stool consistency, colon length and clinical severity were examined. Expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and phosphorylation of p65 and IκB in the colon tissue were measured by qRT-PCR and Western blot, respectively.

Results: UBE2W inhibited TNFα-induced NF-κB transcription activity, attenuated IκB and p65 phosphorylation, downregulated TNFα and IL-8 expression and blocked the entry of p65 into the nucleus. In the DSS-induced colitis model, UBE2W-knockdown mice had increased weight loss, more serious diarrhea and mucosal injures compared with the control mice. Moreover, phosphorylation of IκB and p65 and the expression of pro-inflammatory mediators such as TNFα, IL-6 were significantly increased in UBE2W knockdown mice. However, these changes were completely reversed in UBE2W overexpression mice.

Conclusions: The overexpression of UBE2W ameliorates the severity of DSS-induced colitis, which may be mediated by inhibiting the expression of pro-inflammatory mediators and activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway. These findings provide evidence that UBE2W might have potential therapeutic implications in IBD.

Keywords: Colitis; Nuclear factor-κB; Signaling pathway; Ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (E2W).