Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.426, No.2, 203-208, 2012
MicroRNA 16 modulates epithelial sodium channel in human alveolar epithelial cells
Acute lung injury (ALI) is a devastating disease characterized by pulmonary edema. Removal of edema from the air spaces of lung is a critical function of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) in ALI. The molecular mechanisms behind resolution of pulmonary edema are incompletely understood. MicroRNA's (mi-RNA) are crucial gene regulators and are dysregulated in various diseases including ALI. Recent studies suggest that microRNA-16 (miR-16) targets serotonin transporter (SERT) involved in the serotonin (5-HT) transmitter system. Alterations in serotonin levels have been reported in various pulmonary diseases. However, the role of miR-16 on its target SERT, and ENaC, a key ion channel involved in the resolution of pulmonary edema, have not been studied. In the present study, the expression patterns of miR-16, SERT, ENaC and serotonin were investigated in mice exposed to room air and hyperoxia. The effects of miR-16 overexpression on ENaC, SERT, TGF-beta and Nedd4 in human alveolar epithelial cells were analyzed. miR-16 and ENaC were downregulated in mice exposed to hyperoxia. miR-16 downregulation in mouse lung was correlated with an increase in SERT expression and pulmonary edema. Overexpression of miR-16 in human alveolar epithelial cells (A549) suppressed SERT and increased ENaC beta levels when compared to control-vector transfected cells. In addition, miR-16 over expression suppressed TGF beta release, a critical inhibitor of ENaC. Interestingly Nedd4, a negative regulator of ENaC remained unaltered in miR-16 over expressed A549 cells when compared to controls. Taken together, our data suggests that miR-16 upregulates ENaC, a major sodium channel involved in resolution of pulmonary edema in ALI. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.