MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that function as negative regulators of gene expression. Recent evidences suggested that host cells miRNAs are involved in the progression of infectious diseases, but its role in amoebiasis remains largely unknown. Here, we reported an unexplored role for miRNAs of human epithelial colon cells during the apoptosis induced by Entamoeba histolytica. We demonstrated for the first time that SW-480 colon cells change their miRNAs profile in response to parasite exposure. Our data showed that virulent E. histolytica trophozoites induced apoptosis of SW-480 colon cells after 45 min interaction, which was associated to caspases-3 and -9 activation. Comprehensive profiling of 667 miRNAs using Taqman Low-Density Arrays showed that 6 and 15 miRNAs were significantly (FC > 1.5; p < 0.05) modulated in SW-480 cells after 45 and 75 min interaction with parasites, respectively. Remarkably, no significant regulation of the 6-miRNAs signature (miR-526b-5p, miR-150, miR-643, miR-615-5p, miR-525, and miR-409-3p) was found when SW-480 cells were exposed to non-virulent Entamoeba dispar. Moreover, we confirmed that miR-150, miR-643, miR-615-5p, and miR-525 exhibited similar regulation in SW-480 and Caco2 colon cells after 45 min interaction with trophozoites. Exhaustive bioinformatic analysis of the six-miRNAs signature revealed intricate miRNAs-mRNAs co-regulation networks in which the anti-apoptotic XIAP, API5, BCL2, and AKT1 genes were the major targets of the set of six-miRNAs. Of these, we focused in the study of functional relationships between miR-643, upregulated at 45 min interaction, and its predicted target X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP). Interestingly, interplay of amoeba with SW-480 cells resulted in downregulation of XIAP consistent with apoptosis activation. More importantly, loss of function studies using antagomiRs showed that forced inhibition of miR-643 leads to restoration of XIAP levels and suppression of both apoptosis and caspases-3 and -9 activation. Congruently, mechanistic studies using luciferase reporter assays confirmed that miR-643 exerts a postranscripcional negative regulation of XIAP by targeting its 3′-UTR indicating that it's a downstream effector. In summary, we provide novel lines of evidence suggesting that early-branched eukaryote E. histolytica may promote apoptosis of human colon cells by modulating, in part, the host microRNome which highlight an unexpected role for miRNA-643/XIAP axis in the host cellular response to parasites infection.
- Entamoeba histolytica