miR-155 regulates IFN- production in natural killer cells

Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
Blood (Impact Factor: 9.78). 02/2012; 119(15):3478-85. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2011-12-398099
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT MicroRNAs (miRs) are small, noncoding RNA molecules with important regulatory functions whose role in regulating natural killer (NK) cell biology is not well defined. Here, we show that miR-155 is synergistically induced in primary human NK cells after costimulation with IL-12 and IL-18, or with IL-12 and CD16 clustering. Over-expression of miR-155 enhanced induction of IFN-γ by IL-12 and IL-18 or CD16 stimulation, whereas knockdown of miR-155 or its disruption suppressed IFN-γ induction in monokine and/or CD16-stimulated NK cells. These effects on the regulation of NK cell IFN-γ expression were found to be mediated at least in part via miR-155's direct effects on the inositol phosphatase SHIP1. Consistent with this, we observed that modulation of miR-155 overrides IL-12 and IL-18-mediated regulation of SHIP1 expression in NK cells. Collectively, our data indicate that miR-155 expression is regulated by stimuli that strongly induce IFN-γ in NK cells such as IL-12, IL-18, and CD16 activation, and that miR-155 functions as a positive regulator of IFN-γ production in human NK cells, at least in part via down-regulating SHIP1. These findings may have clinical relevance for targeting miR-155 in neoplastic disease.

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