Published online Jun 14, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i22.3073
Peer-review started: March 7, 2021
First decision: March 27, 2021
Revised: April 9, 2021
Accepted: April 28, 2021
Article in press: April 28, 2021
Published online: June 14, 2021
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a prevalent worldwide health problem featured by relapsing, chronic gastrointestinal inflammation. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) is a critical epigenetic regulator in different pathological models, such as cancer and inflammation. However, the role of EZH2 in the IBD development is still obscure.
To explore the effect of EZH2 on IBD progression and the underlying mechanism.
The IBD mouse model was conducted by adding dextran sodium sulfate (DSS), and the effect of EZH2 on DSS-induced colitis was assessed in the model. The function of EZH2 in regulating apoptosis and permeability was evaluated by Annexin V-FITC Apoptosis Detection Kit, transepithelial electrical resistance analysis, and Western blot analysis of related markers, including Zona occludens 1, claudin-5, and occludin, in NCM460 and fetal human colon (FHC) cells. The mechanical investigation was performed by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot analysis, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays.
The colon length was inhibited in the DSS-treated mice and was enhanced by the EZH2 depletion in the system. DSS treatment caused a decreased histological score in the mice, which was reversed by EZH2 depletion. The inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, and interleukin-1β, were induced in the DSS-treated mice, in which the depletion of EZH2 could reverse this effect. Moreover, the tumor necrosis factor-α treatment induced the apoptosis of NCM460 and FHC cells, in which EZH2 depletion could reverse this effect in the cells. Moreover, the depletion of EZH2 attenuated permeability of colonic epithelial cells. Mechanically, the depletion of EZH2 or EZH2 inhibitor GSK343 was able to enhance the expression and the phosphorylation of janus kinase 2 (JK2) and signal transducer and activator of transcription in the NCM460 and FHC cells. Specifically, EZH2 inactivated JAK2 expression by regulating histone H3K27me3. JAK2 inhibitor TG101348 was able to reverse EZH2 knockdown-mediated colonic epithelial cell permeability and apoptosis.
Thus, we concluded that EZH2 contributed to apoptosis and inflammatory response by inactivating JAK2/ signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling in IBD. EZH2 may be applied as a potential target for IBD therapy.
Core Tip: In this study, we discovered that enhancer of zeste homolog 2 contributed to apoptosis and inflammatory response by inactivating janus kinase 2/signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 may be applied as a potential target for IBD therapy.