Relation between NOD2 genotype and changes in innate signaling in Crohn's disease on mRNA and miRNA levels

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Crohn's disease is associated with an altered innate immune response of pathogenic importance. This altered response can be associated to loss-of-function polymorphisms in the NOD2 (nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein 2) gene, but also changes in transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory layers, including microRNA activity. Here, we characterized the link between NOD2 genotype and inflammatory-mediated changes in innate signaling by studying transcriptional and post-transcriptional activity in response to NOD2-agonist muramyl dipeptide in monocytes from healthy controls, and Crohn's disease patients with and without NOD2 loss-of-function polymorphisms. We measured the expression of genes and microRNAs in monocytes from these subjects after stimulation with muramyl dipeptide. Gene expression profiles mainly distinguished the actual muramyl dipeptide response, but not the genotype. A hyper-responsive phenotype was found in Crohn's disease patients without NOD2 mutations, characterized by upregulated cytokine receptors and general downregulation of microRNA expression. Conversely, microRNA expression could identify genotype-specific differences between subject groups but exhibited little change upon muramyl dipeptide treatment. Only two microRNAs showed muramyl dipeptide-induced response, including miR-155, which was found to regulate multiple genes and whose host gene was one of the highest muramyl dipeptide responders. miR-155 was upregulated in Crohn's disease patients with NOD2 mutations following lipopolysaccharide and Escherichia coli treatment, but the upregulation was substantially reduced upon muramyl dipeptide treatment. While Crohn's disease patients with NOD2 mutations on average showed a reduced muramyl dipeptide response, the cohort exhibited large individual variance: a small subset had inflammatory responses almost comparable to wild-type patients on both gene and miR-155 regulatory levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Journalnpj Genomic Medicine
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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