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Ruihua Jing, Bo Ma, Tiantian Qi, Conghui Hu, Chongbing Liao, Chan Wen, Yongping Shao, Cheng Pei; Long Noncoding RNA OIP5-AS1 Promotes Cell Apoptosis and Cataract Formation by Blocking POLG Expression Under Oxidative Stress. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(12):3. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.12.3.
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Cataract, a clouding of the intraocular lens, is the leading cause of blindness. The lens-expressed long noncoding RNA OIP5-AS1 was upregulated in lens epithelial cells from patients with cataracts, suggesting its pathogenic role in cataracts. We investigated the regulatory role of OIP5-AS1 in the development of cataracts as well as potential RNA binding proteins, downstream target genes, and upstream transcription factors.
Clinical capsules and ex vivo and in vitro cataract models were used to test OIP5-AS1 expression. Cell apoptosis was detected using Western blots, JC-1 staining, and flow cytometry. Ribonucleoprotein immunoprecipitation-qPCR was performed to confirm the interaction of OIP5-AS1 and POLG. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-qPCR was used to determine the binding of TFAP2A and the OIP5-AS1 promoter region.
OIP5-AS1 was upregulated in cataract lenses and B3 cells under oxidative stress. OIP5-AS1 knockdown protected B3 cells from H2O2-induced apoptosis and alleviated lens opacity in the ex vivo cataract model. HuR functioned as a scaffold carrying OIP5-AS1 and POLG mRNA and mediated the decay of POLG mRNA. POLG was downregulated in the cataract lens and oxidative-stressed B3 cells, and POLG depletion decreased the mtDNA copy number and MMP, increased reactive oxygen species production, and sensitized B3 cells to oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. POLG overexpression reversed these effects. TFAP2A bound the OIP5-AS1 promoter and contributed to OIP5-AS1 expression.
We demonstrated that OIP5-AS1, activated by TFAP2A, contributed to cataract formation by inhibiting POLG expression mediated by HuR, thus leading to increased apoptosis of lens epithelial cells and aggravated lens opacity, suggesting that OIP5-AS1 is a potential target for cataract treatment.
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