MicroRNA-155 induction via TNF-α and IFN-γ suppresses expression of programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) in human primary cells

Daniel Yee, Kunal M Shah, Mark C Coles, Tyson V Sharp, Dimitris Lagos

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Programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) is a critical regulator of T cell function contributing to peripheral immune tolerance. Although it has been shown that posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms control PD-L1 expression in cancer, it remains unknown whether such regulatory loops operate also in non-transformed cells. Here we studied PD-L1 expression in human dermal lymphatic endothelial cells (HDLECs), which play key roles in immunity and cancer. Treatment of HDLECs with the pro-inflammatory cytokines IFN-γ and TNF-α synergistically upregulated PDL1 expression. IFN-γ and TNF-α also affected expression of several microRNAs (miRNAs) that have the potential to suppress PD-L1 expression. The most highly upregulated miRNA following IFN-γ and TNF-α treatment in HDLECs was miR- 155, which has a central role in the immune system and cancer. Induction of miR-155 was driven by TNF-α, the effect of which was significantly enhanced by IFN-γ. The PD-L1 3'- UTR contains two functional miR-155 binding sites. Endogenous miR-155 controlled the kinetics and maximal levels of PD-L1 induction upon IFN-γ and TNF-α treatment. We obtained similar findings in dermal fibroblasts, demonstrating that the IFN-γ/TNF-α/miR-155/PD-L1 pathway is not restricted to HDLECs. These results reveal miR- 155 as a critical component of an inflammationinduced regulatory loop controlling PD-L1 expression in primary cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalThe Journal of biological chemistry
Early online date24 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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