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      LINC00612/miR-31-5p/Notch1 Axis Regulates Apoptosis, Inflammation, and Oxidative Stress in Human Pulmonary Microvascular Endothelial Cells Induced by Cigarette Smoke Extract

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          Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been reported as key regulators in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the precise role of LINC00612 remains unclear.


          The real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was used to quantify the expression levels of LINC00612, miR-31-5p, and Notch homolog 1 (Notch1) in lung tissues and cells. Under a cigarette smoke extract (CSE) stimulation condition, the apoptosis was analyzed by flow cytometry assay. Caspase-3 activity was examined with a caspase-3 activity assay kit; besides, inflammation and oxidative stress were assessed by measuring interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, glutathione/oxidized glutathione, reactive oxygen species, malondialdehyde, and superoxide dismutase activity. The interaction relationship between miR-31-5p and LINC00612 or Notch1 was predicted by bioinformatics databases, while dual-luciferase reporter, RNA immunoprecipitation, and RNA pull-down assays were performed to confirm prediction. Eventually, the related protein expression was estimated with western blot assay.


          LINC00612 was downregulated in COPD tissues when compared with controls. Consistently, CSE inhibited LINC00612 expression in HPMECs with a dose/time-dependent method. Gain-of-function experiments indicated that the upregulation of LINC00612 could repress cell apoptosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress in HPMECs induced by CSE. In addition, miR-31-5p was negatively regulated by LINC00612 in HPMECs treated with CSE. The overexpression of miR-31-5p could abolish LINC00612-induced effects on HPMECs exposed to CSE. Importantly, LINC00612 could weaken CSE-induced cell apoptosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress in HPMECs by regulating the miR-31-5p/Notch1 signaling pathway.


          Current findings suggest that CSE-mediated cell apoptosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress in HPMECs were abolished by upregulation of LINC00612. Furthermore, the LINC00612/miR-31-5p/Notch1 axis may represent a novel regulator of apoptosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress of HPMECs, which may be a potential therapeutic target for COPD in the future.

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          Most cited references 30

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          An official American Thoracic Society public policy statement: Novel risk factors and the global burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

          Although cigarette smoking is the most important cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a substantial proportion of COPD cases cannot be explained by smoking alone. To evaluate the risk factors for COPD besides personal cigarette smoking. We constituted an ad hoc subcommittee of the American Thoracic Society Environmental and Occupational Health Assembly. An international group of members was invited, based on their scientific expertise in a specific risk factor for COPD. For each risk factor area, the committee reviewed the literature, summarized the evidence, and developed conclusions about the likelihood of it causing COPD. All conclusions were based on unanimous consensus. The population-attributable fraction for smoking as a cause of COPD ranged from 9.7 to 97.9%, but was less than 80% in most studies, indicating a substantial burden of disease attributable to nonsmoking risk factors. On the basis of our review, we concluded that specific genetic syndromes and occupational exposures were causally related to the development of COPD. Traffic and other outdoor pollution, secondhand smoke, biomass smoke, and dietary factors are associated with COPD, but sufficient criteria for causation were not met. Chronic asthma and tuberculosis are associated with irreversible loss of lung function, but there remains uncertainty about whether there are important phenotypic differences compared with COPD as it is typically encountered in clinical settings. In public health terms, a substantive burden of COPD is attributable to risk factors other than smoking. To prevent COPD-related disability and mortality, efforts must focus on prevention and cessation of exposure to smoking and these other, less well-recognized risk factors.
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              Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), comprised of pulmonary emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and structural and inflammatory changes of small airways, is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world. A better understanding of the pathobiology of COPD is critical for the developing of novel therapies, as the majority of patients with the disease have little therapeutic options at the present time. The pathobiology of COPD encompasses multiple injurious processes including inflammation (excessive or inappropriate innate and adaptive immunity), cellular apoptosis, altered cellular and molecular alveolar maintenance program, abnormal cell repair, extracellular matrix destruction (protease and anti-protease imbalance), and oxidative stress (oxidant and antioxidant imbalance). These processes are triggered by urban and rural air pollutants and active and/or passive cigarette smoke and modified by cellular senescence and infection. A series of receptor-mediated signal transduction pathways are activated by reactive oxygen species and tobacco components, resulting in impairment of a variety of cell signaling and cytokine networks, subsequently leading to chronic airway responses with mucus production, airway remodeling, and alveolar destruction. The authors provide an updated insight into the molecular and cellular pathobiology of COPD based on human and/or animal data.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                26 August 2020
                : 15
                : 2049-2060
                [1 ]Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chengdu Second People’s Hospital , Chengdu 610000, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Dujiangyan People’s Hospital , Dujiangyan 611830, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Li Li Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Dujiangyan People’s Hospital , No. 622 Baolian Road, Dujiangyan611830, Sichuan, People’s Republic of ChinaTel +86-28-87121111 Email

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2020 Luo et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 6, References: 34, Pages: 12
                Funded by: Chengdu Municipal Health Commission Project;
                The present study was supported by Chengdu Municipal Health Commission Project (No. 2019107).
                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                cse, copd, notch1, mir-31-5p, linc00612


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