Sepsis is a complicated disease with systemic inflammation or organ dysfunction, and it is the leading cause of acute lung injury (ALI). Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have played important roles in the pathogenesis of sepsis. This study was designed to explore the biological function and regulatory mechanism of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2B antisense RNA 1 (CDKN2B-AS1) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced lung injury.
ALI model was established after human lung epithelial cell line BEAS-2B was exposed to LPS. CDKN2B-AS1, microRNA-140-5p (miR-140-5p) and transforming Growth Factor Beta Receptor II (TGFBR2) levels were detected by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Cell viability was measured using Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8). Cell apoptosis was assessed by caspase3 activity and flow cytometry. Inflammatory cytokines were examined via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Protein analysis was performed through western blot. Dual-luciferase reporter, RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP) and pull-down assays were applied to validate the interaction between targets.
CDKN2B-AS1 and TGFBR2 were abnormally upregulated in sepsis patients. Functionally, CDKN2B-AS1 or TGFBR2 knockdown promoted cell growth but inhibited cell apoptosis and inflammatory response in LPS-treated BEAS-2B cells. Moreover, the regulation of CDKN2B-AS1 in LPS-induced cell injury was achieved by increasing the TGFBR2 expression. CDKN2B-AS1 was identified as a miR-140-5p sponge and TGFBR2 was a target of miR-140-5p. Furthermore, CDKN2B-AS1 could regulate the TGFBR2/Smad3 pathway by sponging miR-140-5p.
These results suggested that CDKN2B-AS1 contributed to the LPS-mediated apoptosis and inflammation in BEAS-2B cells via the miR-140-5p/TGFBR2/Smad3 axis.