LncRNA XIST modulates miR-328-3p ectopic expression in lung injury induced by tobacco-specific lung carcinogen NNK both in vitro and in vivo

Br J Pharmacol. 2024 Apr 8. doi: 10.1111/bph.16373. Online ahead of print.


Background and purpose: It is well acknowledged that tobacco-derived lung carcinogens can induce lung injury and even lung cancer through a complex mechanism. MicroRNAs (MiRNAs) are differentially expressed in tobacco-derived carcinogen nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone (NNK)-treated A/J mice.

Experimental approach: RNA sequencing was used to detect the level of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Murine and human lung normal and cancer cells were used to evaluate the function of lncRNA XIST and miR-328-3p in vitro, and NNK-treated A/J mice were used to test their function in vivo. In vivo levels of miR-328-3p and lncRNA XIST were analysed, using in situ hybridization. miR-328-3p agomir and lncRNA XIST-specific siRNA were used to manipulate in vivo levels of miR-328-3p and lncRNA XIST in A/J mice.

Key results: LncRNA XIST was up-regulated in NNK-induced lung injury and dominated the NNK-induced ectopic miRNA expression in NNK-induced lung injury both in vitro and in vivo. Either lncRNA XIST silencing or miR-328-3p overexpression exerted opposing effects in lung normal and cancer cells regarding cell migration. LncRNA XIST down-regulated miR-328-3p levels as a miRNA sponge, and miR-328-3p targeted the 3'-UTR of FZD7 mRNA, which is ectopically overexpressed in lung cancer patients. Both in vivo lncRNA XIST silencing and miR-328 overexpression could rescue NNK-induced lung injury and aberrant overexpression of the lung cancer biomarker CK19 in NNK-treated A/J mice.

Conclusions and implications: Our results highlight the promotive effect of lncRNA XIST in NNK-induced lung injury and elucidate its post-transcriptional mechanisms, indicating that targeting lncRNA XIST/miR-328-3p could be a potential therapeutic strategy to prevent tobacco carcinogen-induced lung injury in vivo.

Keywords: LncRNA XIST, miR‐328‐3p, NNK.