Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2018 October, 246(2)

Decreased Expression of MicroRNA-107 in B Lymphocytes of Patients with Antibody-Mediated Renal Allograft Rejection

ZHE-WEI ZHANG,1 MING WANG,1 JUN-JIE HU,2 GANG XU,1 YONG ZHANG1 and NAN ZHANG1

1Urology Department, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, P.R. China
2Urology Department, Lanxi Branch of Lanxi People's Hospital, The Second Affiliated Hospital Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Lanxi, Zhejiang, P.R. China

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNA molecules that participate in normal B cell lineage development through posttranscriptional gene regulation. Antibody-mediated renal allograft rejection (ABMR) is emerging as one of the most common serious threats to renal transplant patients. In this study, we explored the role of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of ABMR. The differentially expressed miRNAs were identified by Affymetrix miRNA microarray analysis using B lymphocytes from 5 recipients and 5 volunteers. Based on quantitative RT-PCR, the expression levels of miR-107 were lower in the B lymphocytes from recipients than in those from volunteers. Computational analysis predicted that 3'-untranslated region of the autophagy-related protein 12 (ATG12) mRNA was targeted by miR-107, and we identified ATG12 as a target of miR-107 by Luciferase assay. Importantly, the expression levels of ATG12 in B lymphocytes of recipients were higher than those in the volunteer group, and miR-107 mimic significantly decreased ATG12 expression and formation of autolysosomes in B lymphocytes of recipients. Furthermore, we observed that levels of autophagy in B lymphocytes of transplant recipients were higher than those in B cells from volunteers. These findings suggest that miR-107 may contribute to the regulation of autophagy via targeting ATG12. Lastly, treatment with an miR-107 mimic caused the decrease in the secretion of IgG and IgM antibodies from B lymphocytes of transplant recipients, indicating that deregulated miR-107 could be involved in the pathogenesis of ABMR. Taken together, we propose that decreased miR-107 expression is associated with autophagy activation in B lymphocytes from patients with ABMR.

Key words —— antibody-mediated renal allograft rejection; autophagy; autophagy-related protein 12; B lymphocytes; miR-107

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Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2018, 246, 87-96

Correspondence: Nan Zhang, Urology Department, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310000, P.R. China.

e-mail: nanzhang@zju.edu.cn