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Cell Host Microbe. 2015 Mar 11;17(3):345-356. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2015.01.007. Epub 2015 Feb 12.

MicroRNA let-7 modulates the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection via control of A20, an inhibitor of the NF-κB pathway.

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Department of Chemistry, Bose Institute, Kolkata 700009, India.
Bioinformatics Centre, Bose Institute, Kolkata 700054, India.
Division of Molecular Medicine, Bose Institute, Kolkata 700054, India.
National Jalma Institute for Leprosy and Other Mycobacterial Diseases, Tajganj, Agra 282006, India.
Division of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden.
VIB Inflammation Research Center, Ghent University, 9052 Ghent, Belgium; Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology, Ghent University, 9052 Ghent, Belgium.
Department of Chemistry, Bose Institute, Kolkata 700009, India. Electronic address:


The outcome of the interaction between Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and a macrophage depends on the interplay between host defense and bacterial immune subversion mechanisms. MicroRNAs critically regulate several host defense mechanisms, but their role in the Mtb-macrophage interplay remains unclear. MicroRNA profiling of Mtb-infected macrophages revealed the downregulation of miR-let-7f in a manner dependent on the Mtb secreted effector ESAT-6. We establish that let-7f targets A20, a feedback inhibitor of the NF-κB pathway. Expression of let-7f decreases and A20 increases with progression of Mtb infection in mice. Mtb survival is attenuated in A20-deficient macrophages, and the production of TNF, IL-1β, and nitrite, which are mediators of immunity to Mtb, is correspondingly increased. Further, let-7f overexpression diminishes Mtb survival and augments the production of cytokines including TNF and IL-1β. These results uncover a role for let-7f and its target A20 in regulating immune responses to Mtb and controlling bacterial burden.

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