MicroRNA-let-7a promotes E2F-mediated cell proliferation and NFκB activation in vitro

Cristen B Chafin, Nicole L Regna, David L Caudell, Christopher M Reilly
Cellular & Molecular Immunology 2014, 11 (1): 79-83
Epigenetic factors, including altered microRNA (miRNA) expression, may contribute to aberrant immune cell function in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). MiRNA-let-7a (let-7a) has been shown to directly alter cell cycle progression and proinflammatory cytokine production. Due to the crucial role of let-7a in cell division and inflammation, we investigated let-7a-mediated proliferation and NFκB translocation in J774A.1 macrophages and MES 13 mesangial cells in vitro. In immune-stimulated cells transfected with let-7a, cell proliferation was significantly increased over time. There was a significant increase in the number of immune-stimulated cells in S and G2 phases. Immune-stimulated cells overexpressing let-7a had increased nuclear translocation of NFκB. Bioinformatical analysis revealed that the E2F family, critical regulators of the G1-S transition, has potential binding sites for let-7a in their mRNA transcripts. Let-7a overexpression significantly increased the expression of the cell cycle activator E2F2 and increased retinoblastoma protein (Rb) phosphorylation in immune-stimulated cells. The cell cycle inhibitor E2F5 was significantly decreased in let-7a-transfected cells that were immune-stimulated. Bioinformatical analysis revealed E2F2 and NFκB are transcription factors predicted to regulate the let-7a promoter. We analyzed transcriptional regulation of let-7a by real-time RT-PCR using chromatin immunoprecipitation with E2F2 and NFκB antibodies. There was an increase in E2F2 and NFκB binding in DNA enriched for the let-7a promoter in immune-stimulated cells. Silencing E2F2 or NFκB significantly decreased let-7a expression and IL-6 production in immune-stimulated cells. Taken together, our results suggest that overexpression of let-7a may contribute to hyperplasia and the proinflammatory response in SLE.

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