Host-pathogen interactions can induce epigenetic changes in the host directly, as well as indirectly through secreted factors. Previously, uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) was shown to increase DNA methyltransferase activity and expression, which was associated with methylation-dependent alterations in the urothelial expression of CDKN2A. Here, we showed that paracrine factors from infected cells alter expression of another epigenetic writer, EZH2, coordinate with proliferation. Urothelial cells were inoculated with UPEC, UPEC derivatives, or vehicle (mock infection) at low moi, washed, then maintained in media with Gentamycin. Urothelial conditioned media (CM) and extracellular vesicles (EV) were isolated after the inoculations and used to treat naïve urothelial cells. EZH2 increased with UPEC infection, inoculation-induced CM, and inoculation-induced EV vs. parallel stimulation derived from mock-inoculated urothelial cells. We found that infection also increased proliferation at one day post-infection, which was blocked by the EZH2 inhibitor UNC1999. Inhibition of demethylation at H3K27me3 had the opposite effect and augmented proliferation.Uropathogen-induced paracrine factors act epigenetically by altering expression of EZH2, which plays a key role in early host cell proliferative responses to infection
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