The enhancer RNA lnc-SLC4A1-1 epigenetically regulates unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss (URPL) by activating CXCL8 and NF-kB pathway.

Research paper by Zhenyao Z Huang, Guizhen G Du, Xiaomin X Huang, Li L Han, Xiumei X Han, Bo B Xu, Yan Y Zhang, Mingming M Yu, Yufeng Y Qin, Yankai Y Xia, Xinru X Wang, Chuncheng C Lu

Indexed on: 19 Nov '18Published on: 19 Nov '18Published in: EBioMedicine


Enhancer RNAs (eRNAs) are a group of lncRNAs transcribed from enhancers, whose regulatory effects on gene expression are an emerging area of interest. However, the role of eRNAs in regulating trophoblast cells and unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss (URPL) remains elusive. We profiled eRNAs in villi from URPL patients and matched controls by RNA-seq. Functions of URPL-related eRNAs were further investigated in vitro. We identified lnc-SLC4A1-1, which was transcribed from an active enhancer marked with H3K27ac and H3K4me1 and so-called eRNA, highly expressed in URPL patients. Gain-of-function experiments indicated that lnc-SLC4A1-1 facilitated trophoblast cell migration and apoptosis. Mechanistically, as an eRNA, lnc-SLC4A1-1 was retained in the nuclei and recruited transcription factor NF-κB to bind to CXCL8, resulting in increased H3K27ac in the CXCL8 promoter and subsequent elevation of CXCL8 expression. Activation of CXCL8 exacerbated inflammatory reactions in trophoblast cells by inducing TNF-α and IL-1β, which could be blocked by an antagonist of lnc-SLC4A1-1. These findings indicate that an eRNA, lnc-SLC4A1-1, alters trophoblast function via activation of immune responses and by regulating the NF-κB/CXCL8 axis. Our study provides new insights in understanding lncRNA/eRNA function in pathological pregnancy, potentially informing on therapeutic strategies for URPL. FUND: National Natural Science Foundation of China, Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province, National Key Research and Development Program, the Priority Academic Program for the Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.