Key Anti-Fibrosis Associated Long Noncoding RNAs Identified in Human Hepatic Stellate Cell via Transcriptome Sequencing Analysis.Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Feb 27; 19(3)IJ
Hepatic fibrosis is the main pathological basis for chronic cirrhosis, and activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are the primary cells involved in liver fibrosis. Our study analyzed anti-fibrosis long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in activated human HSCs (hHSCs). We performed RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and bioinformatics analysis to determine whether lncRNA expression profile changes between hHSCs activation and quiescence. Eight differentially expressed (DE) lncRNAs and three pairs of co-expression lncRNAs-mRNAs were verified by quantitative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR). A total of 34146 DE lncRNAs were identified in this study. Via gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analyses, we found several DE lncRNAs regulated hHSC activation by participating in DNA bending/packaging complex, growth factor binding and the Hippo signaling pathway (p < 0.05). With lncRNA-mRNA co-expression analysis, three lncRNAs were identified to be associated with connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) and netrin-4 (NTN4). The quantitative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR) results of the eight DE lncRNAs and three pairs of co-expression lncRNAs-mRNAs were consistent with the RNA-seq data and previous reports. Several lncRNAs may serve as potential targets to reverse the progression of liver fibrosis. This study provides a first insight into lncRNA expression profile changes associated with activated human HSCs.