10 April 2018
Rapidly accumulating evidence has now suggested that the long non-coding RNAs (LncRNAs), a large and diverse class of non-coding transcribed RNA molecules with diverse functional roles and mechanisms, play a major role in the pathogenesis of many human inflammatory diseases. Although some LncRNAs are overexpressed in plasma, T cell, and synovial tissues of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), there is a dearth of knowledge in what role these transcripts play in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) of these patients. Here, our studies showed that GAPLINC, a newly identified functional LncRNA in oncology, displayed a greater degree of expression in FLSs from RA than in patients with traumatic injury. GAPLINC suppression in RA-FLS cells revealed significant alterations in cell proliferation, invasion, migration, and proinflammatory cytokines production. Additionally, we performed a preliminary bioinformatics analysis of GAPLINC gene sequence in order to find its target molecules, using miRanda, PITA, RNAhybrid algorithms, Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes, and gene ontology analysis. Since the results predicted that some of microRNAs and mRNA may interact with GAPLINC, we simulated a gene co-action network model based on a competitive endogenous RNA theory. Further verification of this model demonstrated that silencing of GAPLINC increased miR-382-5p and miR-575 expression. The results of this study suggest that GAPLINC may function as a novel microRNAs sponging agent affecting the biological characteristics of RA-FLSs. Additionally, GAPLINC may also promote RA-FLS tumor-like behaviors in a miR-382-5p-dependent and miR-575-dependent manner. Based upon these findings, LncRNA GAPLINC may provide a novel valuable therapeutic target for RA patients.