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J Immunol. 2010 Jun 1;184(11):6053-9. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0902308. Epub 2010 Apr 21.

MicroRNA-466l upregulates IL-10 expression in TLR-triggered macrophages by antagonizing RNA-binding protein tristetraprolin-mediated IL-10 mRNA degradation.

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Institute of Immunology, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are generally recognized as regulating gene expression posttranscriptionally by inhibiting translation or inducing target mRNA degradation. New mechanisms for miRNAs to regulate gene expression also still attract much attention. More and more novel miRNAs are discovered by the advanced sequencing technology, but yet their biological functions are largely unknown. Up to now, the function of miR-466l, a miRNA discovered in mouse embryonic stem cells, remains unclear. In this study, we report that miR-466l can upregulate both mRNA and protein expression of IL-10 in TLR-triggered macrophages. Furthermore, we show that miR-466l can competitively bind to the IL-10 3' untranslated region AU-rich elements, which is a typical binding site for RNA-binding protein (RBP). Tristetraprolin is a well-known RBP, and mediates rapid degradation of IL-10 mRNA. miRNA always mediates target mRNA degradation or translation repression modestly; thus, the net effect of miR-466l's binding to IL-10 AU-rich elements is to prevent IL-10 mRNA degradation mediated by tristetraprolin, resulting in extended t(1/2) of IL-10 mRNA and elevated IL-10 expression. Thus, competitive binding with RBP to the same target mRNA and subsequent stabilization of target mRNA is an alternative mechanism for gene regulation by miRNAs. Also, a mechanism for regulation of IL-10 by miRNAs is outlined.

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