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Knockdown of lncRNA XIST prevents the epithelial-mesenchymal transition of TGF-β2-induced human lens epithelial cells via miR-124/Slug axis

1 Eye Hospital, the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, 150007, China
2 Key laboratory of Basic and Clinical Research of Heilongjiang Province, Harbin, 150086, China
* Corresponding Author: HONG ZHANG. Email:
(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Noncoding RNAs & Associated Human Diseases)

BIOCELL 2022, 46(3), 785-794.

Received 13 February 2021; Accepted 19 May 2021; Issue published 18 November 2021


Posterior capsular opacification (PCO) is linked to the pathological process of lens epithelial cells, which includes proliferation, migration, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Our goal was to investigate whether long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) XIST contributes to EMT via targeting miR-124/Slug axis in TGF-β2-induced SRA01/04 cells. EMT was induced by stimulating SRA01/04 cells with 10 ng/mL TGF-β2 for 24 h, and PCO microenvironment was simulated. The expressions levels of lncRNA XIST, miR-124, and Slug were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blot. The role and mechanism of lncRNA XIST in promoting EMT of TGF-β2-treated SRA01/04 cells were investigated by using cell transfection, cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8), immunofluorescence staining, transwell assay, wound-healing assay, RT-PCR, western blot and dual-luciferase reporter assay. The expression of Slug and lncRNA XIST was markedly increased, while miR-124 was downregulated in TGF-β2-treated SRA01/04 cells compared with the control group. Knockdown of lncRNA XIST reduced EMT, migration, and cell viability in TGF-β2-induced SRA01/04 cells; moreover, it adversely modulated miR-124 and adjusted the expression of Slug in SRA01/04 cells, while these effects were diminished by co-transfection with AMO-miR-124. Our data demonstrated that lncRNA XIST functioned as a competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) of miR-124 to modulate the expression level of Slug, thereby modulating EMT, migration, and cell viability in SRA01/04 cells. In conclusion, lncRNA XIST has a crucial role in promoting TGF-β2-induced EMT via modulating the miR-124/Slug axis in SRA01/04 cells, and it may provide a novel therapeutic option for PCO treatment.


LncRNA XIST; miR-124; Slug; Posterior capsular opacification; Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition

Cite This Article

JIANG, X., ZHANG, H. (2022). Knockdown of lncRNA XIST prevents the epithelial-mesenchymal transition of TGF-β2-induced human lens epithelial cells via miR-124/Slug axis. BIOCELL, 46(3), 785–794.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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