In contrast to normal regenerating tissue, resistance to Fas-and FasL-positive T cell-induced apoptosis were detected in myofibroblasts from fibrotic-lungs of humans and mice following bleomycin (BLM) exposure. In this study we show, decreased FLIP expression in lung-tissues with resolution of BLM-induced fibrosis and in isolated-lung fibroblasts, with decreased resistance to apoptosis. Using a FLIP-expression vector or a shFLIP-RNA, we further confirmed the critical need for FLIP to regain/lose susceptibility of fibrotic-lung myofibroblast to Fas-induced apoptosis. Our study further show that FLIP is regulated by SIRT1 (Sirtuin 1) deacetylase. Chimeric mice, with SIRT1-deficiency in deacetylase domain (H355Y-Sirt1y/y), specifically in mesenchymal cells, were not only protected from BLM-induced lung fibrosis but, as assessed following Ku70 immunoprecipitation, had also decreased Ku70-deacetylation, decreasedKu70/FLIP complex, and decreased FLIP levels in their lung myofibroblasts. In addition, myofibroblasts isolated from lungs of BLM-treated miR34a-knockout mice, exposed to a miR34a mimic, which we found here to downregulate SIRT1 in the luciferase assay, had a decreased Ku70-deacetylation indicating decrease in SIRT1 activity. Thus, SIRT1 may mediate, miR34a-regulated, persistent FLIP levels by deacetylation of Ku70 in lung myofibroblasts, promoting resistance to cell-death and lung fibrosis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was funded by a private donation from Arthur Gutterman and Jean Kohen (Grant No. Gutterman02). We thank Hilla Giladi from the Institute of Gene-Therapy, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, for her thorough assistance with luciferase assay, Sapir Herchcovici for her technical assistance and input, Levy Dmytro Petukhov for his assistance with graphical presentation of results and Shifra Fraifeld for her editorial assistance in preparing this manuscript.
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.