MiR-206 as a biomarker for response to mesalamine treatment in ulcerative colitis

Carlos D. Minacapelli, Manisha Bajpai, Xin Geng, James Van Gurp, Elizabeth Poplin, Peter S. Amenta, Steven R. Brant, Kiron M. Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important post-translational regulators. Elevated levels of miR-206 in ulcerative colitis (UC) were associated with suppression of anti-inflammatory A3 adenosine receptor (A3AR) expression. However, the relationship of miR-206 to histologic remission in UC patients remains unknown. This study correlates expression levels of miR-206 with histologic remission in patients treated via long-term mesalamine treatment to identify a possible mode of action for this mainstay drug for UC. Methods Expression of miR-206 and its target A3AR were analyzed in HT29 cell line before and after mesalamine treatment (2 mM) at different time points (0, 4, 12, and 24 hours) by qRT-PCR and western blot analysis. Expression of miR-206 and pathological scores of colonoscopic biopsy specimens were studied in 10 UC patients treated with mesalamine treatment for 2 to 6 years. Results miR-206 transcripts decreased 2.23-fold (P = 0.0001) 4 hours after 2 mM mesalamine treatment in HT29 colon cells compared with untreated controls. However, the mRNA/protein levels of A3AR increased by 4-fold (P = 0.04) and 2-fold, respectively, in same cells. miR-206 relative expression decreased significantly in patients treated with 4.8 g of mesalamine (P = 0.002) but not with 2.4 g (P = 0.35). Tissue assessment of sequential mesalamine-treated colonoscopic biopsies indicate a strong correlation between downregulation of miR-206 and histologic improvement (R = 0.9111). Conclusion Mesalamine treatment has an effect on epithelial miRNAs. Downregulation of miR-206 by long-term mesalamine treatment may confer a protective effect in inducing and maintaining histologic remission. Thus, miR-206 expression levels can be utilized as a possible biomarker for therapeutic response to mesalamine treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-84
Number of pages7
JournalInflammatory bowel diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Gastroenterology


  • mesalamine
  • microRNA
  • ulcerative colitis

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