LncRNA FENDRR with m6A RNA methylation regulates hypoxia-induced pulmonary artery endothelial cell pyroptosis by mediating DRP1 DNA methylation


Abstract Background Pyroptosis is a form of programmed cell death involved in the pathophysiological progression of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (HPH). Emerging evidence suggests that N6-methyladenosine (m6A)-modified transcripts of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are important regulators that participate in many diseases. However, whether m6A modified transcripts of lncRNAs can regulate pyroptosis in HPH progression remains unexplored. Methods The expression levels of FENDRR in hypoxic pulmonary artery endothelial cells (HPAECs) were detected by using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Western blot, Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release assay, Annexin V-FITC/PI double staining, Hoechst 33342/PI fluorescence staining and Caspase-1 activity assay were used to detect the role of FENDRR in HPAEC pyroptosis. The relationship between FENDRR and dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1) was explored using bioinformatics analysis, Chromatin Isolation by RNA Purification (CHIRP), Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and Methylation-Specific PCR (MSP) assays. RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP) and m6A dot blot were used to detect the m6A modification levels of FENDRR. A hypoxia-induced mouse model of pulmonary hypertension (PH) was used to test preventive effect of conserved fragment TFO2 of FENDRR. Results We found that FENDRR was significantly downregulated in the nucleus of hypoxic HPAECs. FENDRR overexpression inhibited hypoxia-induced HPAEC pyroptosis. Additionally, DRP1 is a downstream target gene of FENDRR, and FENDRR formed an RNA–DNA triplex with the promoter of DRP1, which led to an increase in DRP1 promoter methylation that decreased the transcriptional level of DRP1. Notably, we illustrated that the m6A reader YTHDC1 plays an important role in m6A-modified FENDRR degradation. Additionally, conserved fragment TFO2 of FENDEE overexpression prevented HPH in vivo. Conclusion In summary, our results demonstrated that m6A-induced decay of FENDRR promotes HPAEC pyroptosis by regulating DRP1 promoter methylation and thereby provides a novel potential target for HPH therapy.

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