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PLoS One. 2011 Feb 3;6(2):e16841. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016841.

miR-155, a Modulator of FOXO3a Protein Expression, Is Underexpressed and Cannot Be Upregulated by Stimulation of HOZOT, a Line of Multifunctional Treg.

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  • 1Cell Biology Institute, Research Center, Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories Inc., Okayama, Japan. m_yamamoto@hayashibara.co.jp

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in regulating post-transcriptional gene repression in a variety of immunological processes. In particular, much attention has been focused on their roles in regulatory T (Treg) cells which are crucial for maintaining peripheral tolerance and controlling T cell responses. Recently, we established a novel type of human Treg cell line, termed HOZOT, multifunctional cells exhibiting a CD4(+)CD8(+) phenotype. In this study, we performed miRNA profiling to identify signature miRNAs of HOZOT, and therein identified miR-155. Although miR-155 has also been characterized as a signature miRNA for FOXP3(+) natural Treg (nTreg) cells, it was expressed quite differently in HOZOT cells. Under both stimulatory and non-stimulatory conditions, miR-155 expression remained at low levels in HOZOT, while its expression in nTreg and conventional T cells remarkably increased after stimulation. We next searched candidate target genes of miR-155 through bioinformatics, and identified FOXO3a, a negative regulator of Akt signaling, as a miR-155 target gene. Further studies by gain- and loss-of-function experiments supported a role for miR-155 in the regulation of FOXO3a protein expression in conventional T and HOZOT cells.

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