Psoriasis is a chronic recurrent inflammatory skin disease that is characterized by abnormal proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes (KCs), angiogenesis and skin inflammation. Transfer RNA fragments (tRFs) are tRNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs), which possess regulatory functions in many diseases. Their potential roles in the pathological development of psoriasis have not been established. We first identified differentially expressed (DE) tRFs from psoriatic skin lesions using small RNA sequencing, and collected additional clinical samples for validation. Then, we investigated the function and mechanism of target tRFs in vitro. As a result of our investigation: we identified 234 DE transcripts in psoriatic skin lesions compared with normal controls. Further functional analysis showed the downregulation of tRF-Ile-AAT-019 in psoriatic lesions plays a critical role in pathogenesis since it could target 3′UTR of the serine protease serpin protein E1 (SERPINE1) gene. We next demonstrated that tRF-Ile-AAT-019 could suppress SERPINE1, thus leading to decreased expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor but increased expressions of keratinocytes (KCs) differentiation markers including Keratin1 and Involucrin. In conclusion, tRF-Ile-AAT-019 plays a protective role in the pathological progression of psoriasis via targeting SERPINE1, resulting in regulation of KCs differentiation and vascular proliferation biomarkers and providing a potential novel targeting pathway for the disease treatment.
Isolation and culture of human primary keratinocytes