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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e55406. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055406. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

MiR-24 promotes the survival of hematopoietic cells.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend, Indiana, United States of America.


The microRNA, miR-24, inhibits B cell development and promotes myeloid development of hematopoietic progenitors. Differential regulation of cell survival in myeloid and lymphoid cells by miR-24 may explain how miR-24's affects hematopoietic progenitors. MiR-24 is reported to regulate apoptosis, either positively or negatively depending on cell context. However, no role for miR-24 in regulating cell death has been previously described in blood cells. To examine miR-24's effect on survival, we expressed miR-24 via retrovirus in hematopoietic cells and induced cell death with cytokine or serum withdrawal. We observed that miR-24 enhanced survival of myeloid and B cell lines as well as primary hematopoietic cells. Additionally, antagonizing miR-24 with shRNA in hematopoietic cells made them more sensitive to apoptotic stimuli, suggesting miR-24 functions normally to promote blood cell survival. Since we did not observe preferential protection of myeloid over B cells, miR-24's pro-survival effect does not explain its promotion of myelopoiesis. Moreover, expression of pro-survival protein, Bcl-xL, did not mimic miR-24's impact on cellular differentiation, further supporting this conclusion. Our results indicate that miR-24 is a critical regulator of hematopoietic cell survival. This observation has implications for leukemogenesis. Several miRNAs that regulate apoptosis have been shown to function as either tumor suppressors or oncogenes during leukemogenesis. MiR-24 is expressed highly in primary acute myelogenous leukemia, suggesting that its pro-survival activity could contribute to the transformation of hematopoietic cells.

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