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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 May 8;109(19):E1153-62. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1116125109. Epub 2012 Apr 16.

Induction of microRNA-155 is TLR- and type IV secretion system-dependent in macrophages and inhibits DNA-damage induced apoptosis.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin 10117, Germany.


Helicobacter pylori is a gastric pathogen responsible for a high disease burden worldwide. Deregulated inflammatory responses, possibly involving macrophages, are implicated in H. pylori-induced pathology, and microRNAs, such as miR-155, have recently emerged as crucial regulators of innate immunity and inflammatory responses. miR-155 is regulated by Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands in monocyte-derived cells and has been shown to be induced in macrophages during H. pylori infection. Here, we investigated the regulation of miR-155 expression in primary murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) during H. pylori infection and examined the downstream mRNA targets of this microRNA using microarray analysis. We report TLR2/4- and NOD1/2-independent up-regulation of miR-155, which was found to be dependent on the major H. pylori pathogenicity determinant, the type IV secretion system (T4SS). miR-155 expression was dependent on NF-κB signaling but was independent of CagA. Microarray analysis identified known gene targets of miR-155 in BMMs during H. pylori infection that are proapoptotic. We also identified and validated miR-155 binding sites in the 3' UTRs of the targets, Tspan14, Lpin1, and Pmaip1. We observed that H. pylori-infected miR-155(-/-) BMMs were significantly more susceptible to cisplatin DNA damage-induced apoptosis than were wild-type BMMs. Thus, our data suggest a function for the prototypical H. pylori pathogenicity factor, the T4SS, in the up-regulation of miR-155 in BMMs. We propose the antiapoptotic effects of miR-155 could enhance macrophage resistance to apoptosis induced by DNA damage during H. pylori infection.

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