Porphyromonas gingivalis is a pathogen in severe periodontal disease. Able to exploit an intracellular lifestyle within primary gingival epithelial cells (GECs), a reservoir of P. gingivalis can persist within the gingival epithelia. This process is facilitated by manipulation of the host cell signal transduction cascades which can impact cell cycle, cell death, and cytokine responses. Using microarrays, we investigated the ability of P. gingivalis 33277 to regulate microRNA (miRNA) expression in GECs. One of several miRNAs differentially regulated by GECs in the presence of P. gingivalis was miRNA-203 (miR-203), which was upregulated 4-fold compared to uninfected controls. Differential regulation of miR-203 was confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR). Putative targets of miR-203, suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) and SOCS6, were evaluated by qRT-PCR. SOCS3 and SOCS6 mRNA levels were reduced >5-fold and >2-fold, respectively, in P. gingivalis-infected GECs compared to controls. Silencing of miR-203 using a small interfering RNA construct reversed the inhibition of SOCS3 expression. A dual luciferase assay confirmed binding of miR-203 to the putative target binding site of the SOCS3 3′untranslated region. Western blot analysis demonstrated that activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3), a downstream target of SOCS, was diminished following miR-203 silencing. This study shows that induction of miRNAs by P. gingivalis can modulate important host signaling responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases