Non-Coding RNA (2019-11-01)

Small RNA Species and microRNA Profiles are Altered in Severe Asthma Nanovesicles from Broncho Alveolar Lavage and Associate with Impaired Lung Function and Inflammation

  • Ana S. Francisco-Garcia,
  • Eva M. Garrido-Martín,
  • Hitasha Rupani,
  • Laurie C. K. Lau,
  • Rocio T. Martinez-Nunez,
  • Peter H. Howarth,
  • Tilman Sanchez-Elsner

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5, no. 4
p. 51


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MicroRNAs are known to regulate important pathways in asthma pathology including the IL-6 and IFN pathways. MicroRNAs have been found not only within cells but also within extracellular vesicles such as exosomes. In this study, we particularly focused on microRNA cargo of nanovesicles in bronchoalveolar lavage of severe asthmatic patients. We extracted nanovesicle RNA using a serial filtration method. RNA content was analyzed with small RNA sequencing and mapped to pathways affected using WebGestalt 2017 Software. We report that severe asthma patients have deficient loading of microRNAs into their airway luminal nanovesicles and an altered profile of small RNA nanovesicle content (i.e., ribosomal RNA and broken transcripts, etc.). This decrease in microRNA cargo is predicted to increase the expression of genes by promoting inflammation and remodeling. Consistently, a network of microRNAs was associated with decreased FEV1 and increased eosinophilic and neutrophilic inflammation in severe asthma. MicroRNAs in airway nanovesicles may, thus, be valid biomarkers to define abnormal biological disease processes in severe asthma and monitor the impact of interventional therapies.