Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as important regulators of osteoarthritis (OA), but the biological roles and clinical significance of most lncRNAs in OA are not fully understood. Microarray analysis was performed to identify differentially expressed lncRNAs, mRNAs, and miRNAs between normal and osteoarthritic cartilage. We found that AC008440.5 (abbreviated AC008), as well as AQP1 and ANKH, were highly expressed in osteoarthritic cartilage, whereas miR-328-3p was expressed at a low level in osteoarthritic cartilage. Functional assays showed that ectopic expression of AC008, AQP1, and ANKH significantly decreased chondrocyte viability and promoted chondrocyte apoptosis and extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation, whereas knockdown of AC008, AQP1, and ANKH resulted in the opposite effects. Moreover, miR-328-3p overexpression increased chondrocyte viability and attenuated chondrocyte apoptosis and ECM degradation, whereas inhibition of miR-328-3p resulted in the opposite effects. Bioinformatics analysis, RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP), and luciferase assays revealed that AC008 functioned as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) to regulate miR-328-3p, which specifically targeted the AQP1 and ANKH genes. In addition, miR-328-3p significantly ameliorated MIA-induced OA, whereas AC008 accelerated OA progression in vivo. Furthermore, fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO)-mediated N6-methyladenosine demethylation downregulated AC008 transcription, while lower FTO expression led to upregulation of AC008 transcription in OA. In conclusion, our data reveal that AC008 plays a critical role in OA pathogenesis via the miR-328-3p‒AQP1/ANKH pathway, suggesting that AC008 may be a potential therapeutic target for OA.
Bibliografisk noteFunding Information:
This work is supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 82072484 and 81872389) and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, China.