Mybl2, downregulated during colon epithelial cell maturation, is suppressed by miR-365

Michael Papetti, Leonard H. Augenlicht

Abstract

Altered profiles of gene expression reflect the reprogramming of intestinal epithelial cells during their maturation along the crypt-luminal axis. To focus on genes important in this process, and how they in turn are regulated, we identified 14 transcripts commonly downregulated in expression during lineage-specific maturation of the immortalized cell lines Caco-2 (absorptive), HT29Cl16E (goblet), and HT29Cl19A (secretory) induced by contact inhibition of growth or the short-chain fatty acid butyrate. One such gene, Mybl2 (Myb-related protein B), has been linked to the stem cell phenotype, and we report is also markedly suppressed in maturing cells along the crypt-luminal axis in vivo. Mybl2 is not significantly downregulated transcriptionally during colon cell maturation, but we identified a potential micro-RNA (miRNA)-binding sequence in the Mybl2 3′-untranslated region that mediates reporter gene suppression in differentiating colon cells. Accordingly, miRNAs predicted to bind this functional target are upregulated in differentiating colon epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo; expression of one of these, hsa-miR-365 (but not hsa-324–5p), suppresses Mybl2 protein expression in proliferating Caco-2 cells. These data demonstrate that miRNA silencing plays an important role in regulating gene expression in maturing colon epithelial cells, and that utilizing a target-centered approach, rather than profiling global miRNA expression, can identify physiologically relevant, functional miRNAs.

  • differentiation
  • intestine
  • micro-RNA
  • crypt-luminal axis
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