Epigenetic upregulation of ssc-miR-124a following treatment with Clostridium perfringens beta2-toxin attenuates both apoptosis and inflammation in intestinal porcine epithelial cells.


Gao X(1), Yang Q(1), Zhang S(2), Huang X(1), Yan Z(1), Wang P(1), Luo R(1), Wang W(1), Xie K(1), Gun S(3).
Author information:
(1)College of Animal Science and Technology, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, 730070, China.
(2)Farmer Education and Training Work Station of Gansu Province, Lanzhou, 730070, China.
(3)College of Animal Science and Technology, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, 730070, China; Gansu Research Center for Swine Production Engineering and Technology, Lanzhou, 730070, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) is a globally recognized zoonotic pathogen. It has been reported that the beta2-toxin produced by C. perfringens can cause a variety of gastrointestinal diseases and even systemic inflammation. MicroRNA-124a (miR-124a) has been reported to play important roles in the host response to pathogenic infection. Although C. perfringens beta2-toxin induced injury in intestinal porcine epithelial (IPEC-J2) cells has been established, the underlying molecular mechanism is not completely unraveled. Here we show that a significant upregulation of ssc-miR-124a in IPEC-J2 cells after beta2-toxin stimulation was associated with the MiR-124A-1 and MiR-124A-2 gene promoter demethylation status. Importantly, overexpression of ssc-miR-124a significantly increased cell proliferation and decreased apoptosis and cytotoxicity in beta2-toxin treated IPEC-J2 cells. Transfection of IPEC-J2 cells with ssc-miR-124a mimic suppressed beta2-toxin induced inflammation. On the contrary, ssc-miR-124a inhibitor promoted aggravation of cell apoptosis and excessive damage. Furthermore, rho-associated coiled-coil-containing protein kinase 1 (ROCK1) was identified as the direct target gene of ssc-miR-124a in IPEC-J2 cells and its siRNA transfection reversed the promotion of apoptosis and aggravation of cellular damage induced by ssc-miR-124a inhibitor. Overall, we speculated that the miR-124A-1/2 gene was epigenetically regulated in IPEC-J2 cells after beta2-toxin treatment. Upregulation of ssc-miR-124a may restrain ROCK1, and attenuate apoptosis and inflammation induced by beta2-toxin that prevent IPEC-J2 cells from severe damages. We discover a new molecular mechanism by which IPEC-J2 cells counteract beta2-toxin-induced damage through the ssc-miR-124a/ROCK1 axis partially.