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Exp Dermatol. 2012 Apr;21(4):312-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2012.01462.x.

MiR-21 is up-regulated in psoriasis and suppresses T cell apoptosis.

Abstract

MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression. Previously, in a genome-wide screen, we found deregulation of microRNA expression in psoriasis skin. MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) is one of the microRNAs significantly up-regulated in psoriasis skin lesions. To identify the cell type responsible for the increased miR-21 level, we compared expression of miR-21 in epidermal cells and dermal T cells between psoriasis and healthy skin and found elevated levels of miR-21 in psoriasis in both cell types. In cultured T cells, expression of miR-21 increased markedly upon activation. To explore the function of miR-21 in primary human T helper cells, we inhibited miR-21 using a tiny seed-targeting LNA-anti-miR. Specific inhibition of miR-21 increased the apoptosis rate of activated T cells. Our results suggest that miR-21 suppresses apoptosis in activated T cells, and thus, overexpression of miR-21 may contribute to T cell-derived psoriatic skin inflammation.

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