To evaluate the effect of a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs2910164) in the miR-146a precursor on the expression level of miR-146a, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2), and production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in lung tissue harvested from smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as the lung function and disease stages from the same patient population.
One-hundred and sixty-eight smokers with diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were recruited. The patients were genotyped for rs2910164 polymorphism using Sanger sequencing, and their lung function/disease stages were evaluated following Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) criteria. Meanwhile, messenger ribonucleic acid and protein expression levels of miR-146a and COX2 as well as PGE2 production were determined in 66 lung tissue samples collected in the patients who received surgical treatment. We confirmed that COX2 is a validated target of miR-146a in human fibroblast cells, and identified the differential expression patterns of miR-146a and COX2 in each rs2910164 genotype group. We observed a significant association between rs2910164 in miR-146a and the levels of either COX2 or PGE2 using real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot. Consistently, we were able to demonstrate that the rs2910164 single nucleotide polymorphism has a functional effect on the baseline lung function in the study population.