Long noncoding RNA are aberrantly expressed in vivo in the cystic fibrosis bronchial epithelium.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged recently as key regulatory molecules with diverse roles at almost every level of the regulation of gene expression. The roles of these RNAs in the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis (CF); a lethal multisystem, autosomal recessive disorder have yet to be explored. Our aim was to examine the expression profile of lncRNA, in the airway epithelium of people with CF. We examined the expression of 30,586 lncRNAs by microarray (Human LncRNA Array v3.0, Arraystar, Inc.), in vivo in bronchial cells isolated from endobronchial brushings obtained from CF and non-CF individuals. In total, we identified 1,063 lncRNAs with differential expression between CF and non-CF individuals (fold change ≥3, p≤0.001). The microarray also contained probes for ∼26,109 protein coding transcripts, of which 720 were differentially expressed between CF and non-CF brush samples (fold change ≥3, p≤0.001). Confirmation of a selection of differentially expressed coding mRNA and lncRNA transcripts such as XIST and TLR8 was achieved using qRT-PCR. Gene ontology bioinformatics analysis highlighted that many processes over-represented in the CF bronchial epithelium are related to inflammation. These data show a significantly altered lncRNA and mRNA expression profile in CF bronchial cells in vivo. Dysregulation of some of these lncRNAs may play important roles in the chronic infection and inflammation that exists in the lungs of people with CF.