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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Feb 2024 - 1 Mar 2024

2024 Feb 28

Adv Biol (Weinh)


Exploring the Impact of TLR-2 Signaling on miRNA Dysregulation in Intervertebral Disc Degeneration.


Cazzanelli P, Lamoca M, Hausmann ON, Mesfin A, Puvanesarajah V, Hitzl W, Haglund L, Wuertz-Kozak K


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are key mediators of inflammation in intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration. TLR-2 activation contributes to the degenerative process by increasing the expression of extracellular matrix-degrading enzymes, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and neurotrophins. As potent post-transcriptional regulators, microRNAs can modulate intracellular mechanisms, and their dysregulation is known to contribute to numerous pathologies. This study aims to investigate the impact of TLR-2 signaling on miRNA dysregulation in the context of IVD degeneration. Small-RNA sequencing of degenerated IVD cells shows the dysregulation of ten miRNAs following TLR-2 activation by PAM2CSK4. The miR-155-5p is most significantly upregulated in degenerated and non-degenerated annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus cells. Sequence-based target and pathway prediction shows the involvement of miR-155-5p in inflammation- and cell fate-related pathways and TLR-2-induced miR-155-5p expression leads to the downregulation of its target c-FOS. Furthermore, changes specific to the activation of TLR-2 through fragmented fibronectin are seen in miR-484 and miR-487. Lastly, miR-100-3p, miR-320b, and miR-181a-3p expression exhibit degeneration-dependent changes. These results show that TLR-2 signaling leads to the dysregulation of miRNAs in IVD cells as well as their possible downstream effects on inflammation and degeneration. The identified miRNAs provide important opportunities as potential therapeutic targets for IVD degeneration and low back pain.