Age-related cataract (ARC) is the leading cause of visual impairment or even blindness among the aged population globally. Long non-coding RNA (LncRNA) has been proven to be the potential regulator of ARC. The latest study reveals that maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3) promotes the apoptosis and inhibits the proliferation of multiple cancer cells. However, the expression and role of MEG3 in ARC are unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of MEG3 in ARC and explored the regulatory mechanisms underlying these effects. We observed that MEG3 expression was up-regulated in the age-related cortical cataract (ARCC) lens capsules and positively correlated with the histological degree of ARCC. The pro-apoptosis protein, active caspase-3 and Bax increased in the anterior lens capsules of ARCC tissue, while the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 decreased compared to normal lens. Knockdown of MEG3 increased the viability and inhibited the apoptosis of LECs upon the oxidative stress induced by HO. MEG3 was localized in both nucleus and cytoplasm in LECs. MEG3 facilitated TP53INP1 expression via acting as miR-223 sponge and promoting P53 expression. Additionally, TP53INP1 knockdown alleviated HO-induced lens turbidity. In summary, MEG3 promoted ARC progression by up-regulating TP53INP1 expression through suppressing miR-223 and promoting P53 expression, which would provide a novel insight into the pathogenesis of ARC.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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