Long Noncoding RNA H19 Derived from M2 Tumor-Associated Macrophages Promotes Bladder Cell Autophagy via Stabilizing ULK1

J Oncol. 2022 May 14;2022:3465459. doi: 10.1155/2022/3465459. eCollection 2022.


Purpose: M2-like tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are crucial component of immune infiltration in tumor microenvironment (TME), and exosomes derived from TAMs contributed to the regulation of tumor progression through cellular communication. However, in bladder cancer, the role of exosomal components still remains largely unknown. In the current study, we investigated the role of exosomes derived from M2-like TAMs in the regulation of autophagy in bladder cancer (BC) cells.

Methods: THP-1 cells were stimulated with IL-4 and IL-13 for the polarization of TAMs, and exosomes were extracted by ultracentrifugation. H19 overexpression plasmid and H19 siRNAs were used in the study. Fluorescent analysis was performed for GFP-LC3 detection. Levels of autophagy and potential target were confirmed by western blot assay and immunoprecipitation.

Results: We found that TAMs-exosome treatment significantly enhanced autophagy in BC cells, and the expression of lncRNA H19 was greatly upregulated in TAMs-exosome. Silencing of lncRNA H19 in TAMs-exo obviously decreased the levels of LC3-II expression whereas the p62 levels were increased. Mechanistically, silencing of exosomal H19 from TAMs alleviated ULK1 stabilization in BC cells through promoting K48-linked polyubiquitination of ULK1. At last, we found that overexpression of exosomal H19 from TAMs suppressed the interaction between ULK1 and its specific E3 ligase NEDD4L in BC cells.

Conclusion: We revealed the effect of TAMs-exo-contained lncRNA H19 on regulating autophagy of bladder cancer cells, which indicated that targeting TAMs-H19 is a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of BC.