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MicroRNA-146a modulates B-cell oncogenesis by regulating Egr1.

  • Author(s): Contreras, Jorge R;
  • Palanichamy, Jayanth Kumar;
  • Tran, Tiffany M;
  • Fernando, Thilini R;
  • Rodriguez-Malave, Norma I;
  • Goswami, Neha;
  • Arboleda, Valerie A;
  • Casero, David;
  • Rao, Dinesh S
  • et al.
Abstract

miR-146a is a NF-κB induced microRNA that serves as a feedback regulator of this critical pathway. In mice, deficiency of miR-146a results in hematolymphoid cancer at advanced ages as a consequence of constitutive NF-κB activity. In this study, we queried whether the deficiency of miR-146a contributes to B-cell oncogenesis. Combining miR-146a deficiency with transgenic expression of c-Myc led to the development of highly aggressive B-cell malignancies. Mice transgenic for c-Myc and deficient for miR-146a were characterized by significantly shortened survival, increased lymph node involvement, differential involvement of the spleen and a mature B-cell phenotype. High-throughput sequencing of the tumors revealed significant dysregulation of approximately 250 genes. Amongst these, the transcription factor Egr1 was consistently upregulated in mice deficient for miR-146a. Interestingly, transcriptional targets of Egr1 were enriched in both the high-throughput dataset and in a larger set of miR-146a-deficient tumors. miR-146a overexpression led to downregulation of Egr1 and downstream targets with concomitant decrease in cell growth. Direct targeting of the human EGR1 by miR-146a was seen by luciferase assay. Together our findings illuminate a bona fide role for miR-146a in the modulation of B-cell oncogenesis and reveal the importance of understanding microRNA function in a cell- and disease-specific context.

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