HAND2 is a critical mediator of progesterone receptor signaling in endometrium. Silencing of HAND2 expression is associated with female infertility and endometrial cancers. We recently observed that lncRNA HAND2-AS1 and HAND2 are expressed coordinately in human endometrial stromal cells. To investigate involvement of HAND2-AS1 and HAND2 in pathogenesis of endometriosis, we employed immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and quantitative real-time PCR to assess their expression in normal endometrium and the ectopic lesions obtained from patients with ovarian endometriosis. HAND2 promoter methylation was also monitored in these samples. Our results revealed that HAND2 and HAND2-AS1 expression levels were reduced but promoter methylation was enhanced significantly in ectopic endometrium when compared with the normal controls. Fluorescence in situ hybridization showed that HAND-AS1 is predominantly localized in the nuclei of endometrial stromal cells in contrast to the cytoplasmic distribution in epithelial cell compartment. To further investigate regulation of HAND2 expression by HAND2-AS1, HAND2-AS1 was silenced or overexpressed in human endometrial stromal cells. Our studies showed that expression levels of HAND2 and its direct target IL15 were attenuated markedly in HAND2-AS1 silenced cells but enhanced significantly in the overexpressed human endometrial stromal cells. Silencing of HAND2-AS1 also impaired endometrial stromal cell decidualization as indicated by downregulation of decidual biomarkers IGFBP1 and PRL. In addition, HAND2 promoter methylation was also enhanced upon HAND2-AS1 silencing. RNA immunoprecipitation studies further revealed that HAND2-AS1 is capable of binding to DNA methyltransferase DNMT1, indicating that HAND2-AS1 governs HAND2 expression epigenetically involving DNA methylation.
- DNA methylation
- Lnc RNA HAND2-AS1
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism