Exosomal long non-coding RNA TRAFD1-4:1 derived from fibroblast-like synoviocytes suppresses chondrocyte proliferation and migration by degrading cartilage extracellular matrix in rheumatoid arthritis

Extracellular Vesicles

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, autoimmune and systemic inflammatory disease affecting 1% of the population worldwide. Immune suppression of the activity and progress of RA is vital to reduce the disability and mortality rate as well as improve the quality of life of RA patients. However, the immune molecular mechanism of RA has not been clarified yet. Our results indicated that exosomes derived from TNFα-stimulated RA fibroblast-like synoviocytes (RA-FLSs) suppressed chondrocyte proliferation and migration through modulating cartilage extracellular matrix (CECM) determining by MTS assay, cell cycle analysis, Transwell assay and Western blot (WB). Besides, RNA sequencing and verification by qRT-PCR revealed that exosomal long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) tumor necrosis factor-associated factor 1 (TRAF1)-4:1 derived from RA-FLSs treated with TNFα was a candidate lncRNA, which also inhibited chondrocyte proliferation and migration through degrading CECM. Moreover, RNA sequencing and bioinformatics analysis identified that C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 1 (CXCL1) was a target mRNA of miR-27a-3p while miR-27a-3p was a target miRNA of lnc-TRAF1-4:1 in chondrocytes. Mechanistically, lnc-TRAF1-4:1 upregulated CXCL1 expression through sponging miR-27a-3p as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) in chondrocytes identifying by Dual-luciferase reporter gene assay. Summarily, exosomal lncRNA TRAFD1-4:1 derived from RA-FLSs suppressed chondrocyte proliferation and migration through degrading CECM by upregulating CXCL1 as a sponge of miR-27a-3p. This study uncovered a novel RA-related lncRNA and investigated the roles of RA-FLS-derived exosomes and exosomal lnc-TRAF1-4:1 in articular cartilage impairment, which might provide novel therapeutic targets for RA.

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Cigarette smoke (CS) represents one of the most relevant environmental risk factors for several chronic pathologies. Tissue damage caused by CS exposure is mediated, at least in part, by oxidative stress induced by its toxic and pro-oxidant components. Evidence demonstrates that extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by various cell types exposed to CS extract (CSE) are characterized by altered biochemical cargo and gained pathological properties. In the present study, we evaluated the content of oxidized proteins and phospholipid fatty acid profiles of EVs released by human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells treated with CSE. This specific molecular characterization has hitherto not been performed. After confirmation that CSE reduces viability of BEAS-2B cells and elevates intracellular ROS levels, in a dose-dependent manner, we demonstrated that 24 h exposure at 1% CSE, a concentration that only slight modifies cell viability but increases ROS levels, was able to increase carbonylated protein levels in cells and released EVs. The release of oxidatively modified proteins via EVs might represent a mechanism used by cells to remove toxic proteins in order to avoid their intracellular overloading. Moreover, 1% CSE induced only few changes in the fatty acid asset in BEAS-2B cell membrane phospholipids, whereas several rearrangements were observed in EVs released by CSE-treated cells. The impact of changes in acyl chain composition of CSE-EVs accounted for the increased saturation levels of phospholipids, a membrane parameter that might influence EV stability, uptake and, at least in part, EV-mediated biological effects. The present in vitro study adds new information concerning the biochemical composition of CSE-related EVs, useful to predict their biological effects on target cells. Furthermore, the information regarding the presence of oxidized proteins and the specific membrane features of CSE-related EVs can be useful to define the utilization of circulating EVs as marker for diagnosing of CS-induced lung damage and/or CS-related diseases.

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