All-trans retinoic acid regulates the expression of MMP-2 and TGF-β2 via RDH5 in retinal pigment epithelium cells
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Xuan Liao. Department of Ophthalmology, Affiliated Hospital of North Sichuan Medical College & Medical School of Ophthalmology and Optometry, North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong 637000, Sichuan Province, China.


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Supported by Project of Science & Technology Department of Sichuan Province (No.23NSFSC1940); City and College Cooperation (No.22SXFWDF0003).

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    AIM: To investigate the effect of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) on retinol dehydrogenase 5 (RDH5), matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and transforming growth factor-β2 (TGF-β2) transcription levels, and the effect of RDH5 on MMP-2 and TGF-β2 in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. METHODS: After adult RPE cell line-19 (ARPE-19 cells) intervened with gradient concentrations of ATRA (0-20 μmol/L) for 24h, flow cytometry was used to detect the proliferation and apoptosis of cells in each group, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to detect RDH5, MMP-2 and TGF-β2 mRNA expression. Then, after ARPE-19 cells transfected with three different siRNA targets for 48h, the RDH5 knockdown efficiency of each group and expression of MMP-2 and TGF-β2 mRNA within them was detected by qRT-PCR. RESULTS: Flow cytometry results showed that ATRA could inhibit the proliferation of RPE cells and promote the apoptosis of RPE cells, and the difference of apoptosis was statistically significant when the ATRA concentration exceeded 5 μmol/L and compared with the normal control group (P=0.027 and P=0.031, respectively). qRT-PCR results showed that ATRA could significantly inhibit the expression level of RDH5 mRNA (P<0.001) and promote the expression of MMP-2 and TGF-β2 mRNA (P=0.03 and P<0.001, respectively) in a dose-dependent manner, especially when treated with 5 μmol/L ATRA. The knockdown efficiency of RDH5 siRNA varies with different targets, among which RDH5 siRNA-435 had the highest knockdown efficiency, i.e., more than 50% lower than that of the negative control group (P=0.02). When RDH5 was knocked down for 48h, the results of qRT-PCR showed that the expressions of MMP-2 and TGF-β2 mRNA were significantly up-regulated (P<0.001). CONCLUSION: ATRA inhibits the expression of RDH5 and promotes MMP-2 and TGF-β2, and further RDH5 knockdown significantly upregulates MMP-2 and TGF-β2. These findings suggest that RDH5 may be involved in an epithelial-mesenchymal transition of RPE cells mediated by ATRA.

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Yu-Mei Mao, Chang-Jun Lan, Qing-Qing Tan, et al. All-trans retinoic acid regulates the expression of MMP-2 and TGF-β2 via RDH5 in retinal pigment epithelium cells. Int J Ophthalmol, 2023,16(6):849-854

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  • Received:October 07,2022
  • Revised:April 12,2023
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  • Online: May 30,2023
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