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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Jun 3. pii: 201811040. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1811040116. [Epub ahead of print]

Dual mechanisms of posttranscriptional regulation of Tet2 by Let-7 microRNA in macrophages.

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Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125.
Department of Pathology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093.
Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125;


Tet methylcytosine dioxygenase 2 (Tet2) is an epigenetic regulator that removes methyl groups from deoxycytosine residues in DNA. Tet2-deficient murine macrophages show increased lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced and spontaneous inflammation at least partially because Tet2 acts to restrain interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 expression in induced cells. MicroRNAs have emerged as critical regulatory noncoding RNAs that tune immune cell responses to physiological perturbations and play roles in pathological conditions in macrophages. To determine if a microRNA played any role in Tet2 activity, we examined the interrelationship of Tet2 action and the let-7 microRNA family, utilizing several let-7 microRNA engineered murine models. We first showed that Tet2, but not Tet3, is a direct target of the let-7a-1/let-7d/let-7f-1 (let-7adf) microRNAs in macrophages. We found that overexpression or deletion of the let-7adf gene cluster causes altered IL-6 induction both in tissue culture cells induced by LPS treatment in vitro as well as in a Salmonella infection mouse model in vivo. Mechanistically, let-7adf promotes IL-6 by directly repressing Tet2 levels and indirectly by enhancing a Tet2 suppressor, the key TCA cycle metabolite, succinate. We found that Let-7adf promotes succinate accumulation by regulating the Lin28a/Sdha axis. We thereby identify two pathways of let-7 control of Tet2 and, in turn, of the key inflammatory cytokine, IL-6, thus characterizing a regulatory pathway in which a microRNA acts as a feedback inhibitor of inflammatory processes.


IL-6; Let-7; Tet2; lipopolysaccharide; succinate


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