[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interleukin-6 (IL-6)-mediated activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a mechanism by which chronic inflammation can contribute to cancer and is a common oncogenic event. We discovered a pathway, the loss of which is associated with persistent STAT3 activation in human cancer. We found that the gene encoding the tumor suppressor microRNA miR-146b is a direct STAT3 target gene, and its expression was increased in normal breast epithelial cells but decreased in tumor cells. Methylation of the miR-146b promoter, which inhibited STAT3-mediated induction of expression, was increased in primary breast cancers. Moreover, we found that miR-146b inhibited nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)-dependent production of IL-6, subsequent STAT3 activation, and IL-6/STAT3-driven migration and invasion in breast cancer cells, thereby establishing a negative feedback loop. In addition, higher expression of miR-146b was positively correlated with patient survival in breast cancer subtypes with increased IL6 expression and STAT3 phosphorylation. Our results identify an epigenetic mechanism of crosstalk between STAT3 and NF-κB relevant to constitutive STAT3 activation in malignancy and the role of inflammation in oncogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T cell responses in mammals must be tightly regulated to both provide effective immune protection and avoid inflammation-induced pathology. NF-κB activation is a key signaling event induced by T cell receptor (TCR) stimulation. Dysregulation of NF-κB is associated with T cell-mediated inflammatory diseases and malignancies, highlighting the importance of negative feedback control of TCR-induced NF-κB activity. In this study we show that in mice, T cells lacking miR-146a are hyperactive in both acute antigenic responses and chronic inflammatory autoimmune responses. TCR-driven NF-κB activation up-regulates the expression of miR-146a, which in turn down-regulates NF-κB activity, at least partly through repressing the NF-κB signaling transducers TRAF6 and IRAK1. Thus, our results identify miR-146a as an important new member of the negative feedback loop that controls TCR signaling to NF-κB. Our findings also add microRNA to the list of regulators that control the resolution of T cell responses.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 08/2012; 209(9):1655-70. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: APCs are essential for innate and adaptive immunity as well as self-immune tolerance. Here, we show that the Cap'n'collar member Bach1 regulates the generation of APCs, specifically macrophages and dendritic cells, in mice. The impaired APC development in Bach1(-/-) mice was accompanied by defects in downstream T-cell responses and partial protection from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Genomewide analyses identified a panel of Bach1 target genes and ablation of the direct Bach1 target gene HO-1 exacerbated the impaired APC development observed in Bach1(-/-) mice. This was attributed to the impaired ability of HO-1(-/-)Bach1(-/-) double mutants to produce upstream APC progenitor cells, including common myeloid progenitor (CMP)-Flk2(+). By contrast, we observed an increase in hematopoietic stem-progenitor cells (HSPCs) in these mice, suggesting a developmental block in the progression of HSPCs to CMP-Flk2(+) and subsequently APCs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNA (miR)-125b expression is modulated in macrophages in response to stimulatory cues. In this study, we report a functional role of miR-125b in macrophages. We found that miR-125b is enriched in macrophages compared with lymphoid cells and whole immune tissues. Enforced expression of miR-125b drives macrophages to adapt an activated morphology that is accompanied by increased costimulatory factor expression and elevated responsiveness to IFN-γ, whereas anti-miR-125b treatment decreases CD80 surface expression. To determine whether these alterations in cell signaling, gene expression, and morphology have functional consequences, we examined the ability of macrophages with enhanced miR-125b expression to present Ags and found that they better stimulate T cell activation than control macrophages. Further indicating increased function, these macrophages were more effective at killing EL4 tumor cells in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, miR-125b repressed IFN regulatory factor 4 (IRF4), and IRF4 knockdown in macrophages mimicked the miR-125b overexpression phenotype. In summary, our evidence suggests that miR-125b is at least partly responsible for generating the activated nature of macrophages, at least partially by reducing IRF4 levels, and potentiates the functional role of macrophages in inducing immune responses.
The Journal of Immunology 11/2011; 187(10):5062-8. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Excessive or inappropriate activation of the immune system can be deleterious to the organism, warranting multiple molecular mechanisms to control and properly terminate immune responses. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), ∼22-nt-long noncoding RNAs, have recently emerged as key posttranscriptional regulators, controlling diverse biological processes, including responses to non-self. In this study, we examine the biological role of miR-146a using genetically engineered mice and show that targeted deletion of this gene, whose expression is strongly up-regulated after immune cell maturation and/or activation, results in several immune defects. Collectively, our findings suggest that miR-146a plays a key role as a molecular brake on inflammation, myeloid cell proliferation, and oncogenic transformation.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 06/2011; 208(6):1189-201. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNA miR-146a has been implicated as a negative feedback regulator of NF-κB activation. Knockout of the miR-146a gene in C57BL/6 mice leads to histologically and immunophenotypically defined myeloid sarcomas and some lymphomas. The sarcomas are transplantable to immunologically compromised hosts, showing that they are true malignancies. The animals also exhibit chronic myeloproliferation in their bone marrow. Spleen and marrow cells show increased transcription of NF-κB-regulated genes and tumors have higher nuclear p65. Genetic ablation of NF-κB p50 suppresses the myeloproliferation, showing that dysregulation of NF-κB is responsible for the myeloproliferative disease.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2011; 108(22):9184-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thermal ramp rate is a major limiting factor in using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for routine diagnostics. We explored the limits of speed by using liquid for thermal exchange rather than metal as in traditional devices, and by testing different polymerases. In a clinical setting, our system equaled or surpassed state-of-the-art devices for accuracy in amplifying DNA∕RNA of avian influenza, cytomegalovirus, and human immunodeficiency virus. Using Thermococcus kodakaraensis polymerase and optimizing both electrical and chemical systems, we obtained an accurate, 35 cycle amplification of an 85-base pair fragment of E. coli O157:H7 Shiga toxin gene in as little as 94.1 s, a significant improvement over a typical 1 h PCR amplification.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells maintain immune homeostasis by limiting different types of inflammatory responses. Here, we report that miR-146a, one of the miRNAs prevalently expressed in Treg cells, is critical for their suppressor function. The deficiency of miR-146a in Treg cells resulted in a breakdown of immunological tolerance manifested in fatal IFNγ-dependent immune-mediated lesions in a variety of organs. This was likely due to augmented expression and activation of signal transducer and activator transcription 1 (Stat1), a direct target of miR-146a. Likewise, heightened Stat1 activation in Treg cells subjected to a selective ablation of SOCS1, a key negative regulator of Stat1 phosphorylation downstream of the IFNγ receptor, was associated with analogous Th1-mediated pathology. Our results suggest that specific aspects of Treg suppressor function are controlled by a single miRNA and that an optimal range of Stat1 activation is important for Treg-mediated control of Th1 responses and associated autoimmunity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Decades of research went into understanding immune cell development and function without awareness that consideration of a key element, microRNA (miRNA), was lacking. The discovery of miRNAs as regulators of developmental events in model organisms suggested to many investigators that miRNA might be involved in the immune system. In the past few years, widespread examination of this possibility has produced notable results. Results have shown that miRNAs affect mammalian immune cell differentiation, the outcome of immune responses to infection and the development of diseases of immunological origin. Some miRNAs repress expression of target proteins with well established functions in hematopoiesis. Here we bring together much of this work, which has so far only scratched the surface of this very fertile field of investigation, and show how the results illuminate many historic questions about hematopoiesis and immune function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mammalian microRNAs are emerging as key regulators of the development and function of the immune system. Here, we report a strong but transient induction of miR-155 in mouse bone marrow after injection of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) correlated with granulocyte/monocyte (GM) expansion. Demonstrating the sufficiency of miR-155 to drive GM expansion, enforced expression in mouse bone marrow cells caused GM proliferation in a manner reminiscent of LPS treatment. However, the miR-155-induced GM populations displayed pathological features characteristic of myeloid neoplasia. Of possible relevance to human disease, miR-155 was found to be overexpressed in the bone marrow of patients with certain subtypes of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Furthermore, miR-155 repressed a subset of genes implicated in hematopoietic development and disease. These data implicate miR-155 as a contributor to physiological GM expansion during inflammation and to certain pathological features associated with AML, emphasizing the importance of proper miR-155 regulation in developing myeloid cells during times of inflammatory stress.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 04/2008; 205(3):585-94. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are found in most metazoan organisms as well as in viruses and are implicated in an increasingly wide variety of biological processes in animals. Here, Taganov et al. discuss the role of miRNAs in the innate immune response to microbial infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mammalian inflammatory response to infection involves the induction of several hundred genes, a process that must be carefully regulated to achieve pathogen clearance and prevent the consequences of unregulated expression, such as cancer. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as a class of gene expression regulators that has also been linked to cancer. However, the relationship between inflammation, innate immunity, and miRNA expression is just beginning to be explored. In the present study, we use microarray technology to identify miRNAs induced in primary murine macrophages after exposure to polyriboinosinic:polyribocytidylic acid or the cytokine IFN-beta. miR-155 was the only miRNA of those tested that was substantially up-regulated by both stimuli. It also was induced by several Toll-like receptor ligands through myeloid differentiation factor 88- or TRIF-dependent pathways, whereas up-regulation by IFNs was shown to involve TNF-alpha autocrine signaling. Pharmacological inhibition of the kinase JNK blocked induction of miR-155 in response to either polyriboinosinic:polyribocytidylic acid or TNF-alpha, suggesting that miR-155-inducing signals use the JNK pathway. Together, these findings characterize miR-155 as a common target of a broad range of inflammatory mediators. Importantly, because miR-155 is known to function as an oncogene, these observations identify a potential link between inflammation and cancer.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2007; 104(5):1604-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of mammalian innate and acquired immune responses must be tightly regulated by elaborate mechanisms to control their onset and termination. MicroRNAs have been implicated as negative regulators controlling diverse biological processes at the level of posttranscriptional repression. Expression profiling of 200 microRNAs in human monocytes revealed that several of them (miR-146a/b, miR-132, and miR-155) are endotoxin-responsive genes. Analysis of miR-146a and miR-146b gene expression unveiled a pattern of induction in response to a variety of microbial components and proinflammatory cytokines. By means of promoter analysis, miR-146a was found to be a NF-kappaB-dependent gene. Importantly, miR-146a/b were predicted to base-pair with sequences in the 3' UTRs of the TNF receptor-associated factor 6 and IL-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 genes, and we found that these UTRs inhibit expression of a linked reporter gene. These genes encode two key adapter molecules downstream of Toll-like and cytokine receptors. Thus, we propose a role for miR-146 in control of Toll-like receptor and cytokine signaling through a negative feedback regulation loop involving down-regulation of IL-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 and TNF receptor-associated factor 6 protein levels.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2006; 103(33):12481-6. · 9.81 Impact Factor