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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Surface Lin28A expression consistent with cellular stress parallels indicators of senescence



Declining cellular functional capacity resulting from stress or ageing is a primary contributor to impairment of myocardial performance. Molecular pathway regulation of biological processes in cardiac interstitial cells (CICs) is pivotal in stress and ageing responses. Altered localization of the RNA-binding protein Lin28A has been reported in response to environmental stress, but the role of Lin28A in response to stress in CICs has not been explored. Surface Lin28A redistribution is indicative of stress response in CIC associated with ageing and senescence.

Methods and results

Localization of Lin28A was assessed by multiple experimental analyses and treatment conditions and correlated to oxidative stress, senescence, and ploidy in adult murine CICs. Surface Lin28A expression is present on 5% of fresh CICs and maintained through Passage 2, increasing to 21% in hyperoxic conditions but lowered to 14% in physiologic normoxia. Surface Lin28A is coincident with elevated senescence marker p16 and beta-galactosidase (β-gal) expression in CICs expanded in hyperoxia, and also increases with polyploidization and binucleation of CICs regardless of oxygen culture. Transcriptional profiling of CICs using single-cell RNA-Seq reveals up-regulation of pathways associated with oxidative stress in CICs exhibiting surface Lin28A. Induction of surface Lin28A by oxidative stress is blunted by treatment of cells with the antioxidant Trolox in a dose-dependent manner, with 300 μM Trolox exposure maintaining characteristics of freshly isolated CICs possessing low expression of surface Lin28A and β-gal with predominantly diploid content.


Surface Lin28A is a marker of environmental oxidative stress in CICs and antioxidant treatment antagonizes this phenotype. The biological significance of Lin28 surface expression and consequences for myocardial responses may provide important insights regarding mitigation of cardiac stress and ageing.

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