Epigenetic reader MeCP2 repressed WIF1 boosts lung fibroblast proliferation, migration and pulmonary fibrosis

pubmed: wnt1 2023-06-01

Toxicol Lett. 2023 May 15;381:1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2023.04.004. Epub 2023 Apr 13.


Epigenetic has been implicated in pulmonary fibrosis. However, there is limited information regarding the biological role of the epigenetic reader MeCP2 in pulmonary fibrosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of MeCP2 and its target WIF1 in pulmonary fibrosis. The pathological changes and collagen depositions was analyzed by H&E, Masson's Trichrome Staining and Sirius Red staining. MeCP2, WIF1, α-SMA, Wnt1, β-catenin, and collagen I expression were analyzed by western blotting, RT-qPCR, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, respectively. The effects of MeCP2 on pulmonary fibrosis involve epigenetic mechanisms, using cultured cells, animal models, and clinical samples. Herein, our results indicated that MeCP2 level was up-regulated, while WIF1 was decreased in Bleomycin (BLM)-induced mice pulmonary fibrosis tissues, patients pulmonary fibrosis tissues and TGF-β1-induced lung fibroblast. Knockdown of MeCP2 by siRNA can rescue WIF1 downregulation in TGF-β1-induced lung fibroblast, inhibited lung fibroblast activation. The DNA methylation inhibitor 5-azadC-treated lung fibroblasts have increased WIF1 expression with reduced MeCP2 association. In addition, we found that reduced expression of WIF1 caused by TGF-β1 is associated with the promoter methylation status of WIF1. Moreover, in vivo studies revealed that knockdown of MeCP2 mice exhibited significantly ameliorated pulmonary fibrosis, decreased interstitial collagen deposition, and increased WIF1 expression. Taken together, our study showed that epigenetic reader MeCP2 repressed WIF1 facilitates lung fibroblast proliferation, migration and pulmonary fibrosis.

PMID:37061208 | DOI:10.1016/j.toxlet.2023.04.004