Interferon (IFN) signaling is key to mucosal immunity in the gastrointestinal tract, but cellular regulatory elements that determine interferon gamma (IFN-g)-mediated antimicrobial defense in intestinal epithelial cells are not fully understood. We report here that a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), GenBank accession no. XR_001779380, was increased in abundance in murine intestinal epithelial cells following infection by Cryptosporidium, an important opportunistic pathogen in AIDS patients and a common cause of diarrhea in young children. Expression of XR_001779380 in infected intestinal epithelial cells was triggered by TLR4/NF-kB/Cdc42 signaling and epithelial-specific transcription factor Elf3. XR_001779380 primed epithelial cells for IFN-g-mediated gene transcription through facilitating Stat1/Swi/Snf-associated chromatin remodeling. Interactions between XR_001779380 and Prdm1, which is expressed in neonatal but not adult intestinal epithelium, attenuated Stat1/Swi/Snf-associated chromatin remodeling induced by IFN-g, contributing to suppression of IFN-g-mediated epithelial defense in neonatal intestine. Our data demonstrate that XR_001779380 is an important regulator in IFN-g-mediated gene transcription and age-associated intestinal epithelial antimicrobial defense.
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