Klebsiella pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen that causes nosocomial and community-acquired infections. The spread of resistant strains of K. pneumoniae represents a growing threat to human health, due to the exhaustion of effective treatments. K. pneumoniae releases outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). OMVs are a vehicle for the transport of virulence factors to host cells, causing cell injury. Previous studies have shown changes of gene expression in human bronchial epithelial cells after treatment with K. pneumoniae OMVs. These variations in gene expression could be regulated through microRNAs (miRNAs), which participate in several biological mechanisms. Thereafter, miRNA expression profiles in human bronchial epithelial cells were evaluated during infection with standard and clinical K. pneumoniae strains. Microarray analysis and RT-qPCR identified the dysregulation of miR-223, hsa-miR-21, hsa-miR-25 and hsa-let-7g miRNA sequences. Target gene prediction revealed the essential role of these miRNAs in the regulation of host immune responses involving NF-kB (miR-223), TLR4 (hsa-miR-21), cytokine (hsa-miR-25) and IL-6 (hsa-let-7g miRNA) signalling pathways. The current study provides the first large scale expression profile of miRNAs from lung cells and predicted gene targets, following exposure to K. pneumoniae OMVs. Our results suggest the importance of OMVs in the inflammatory response.
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