1. Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Cancer Immunotherapy Research and Guangzhou Key Laboratory of Tumor Immunology Research, Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China
2. Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
3. Institute of Comparative Medicine & Laboratory Animal Center, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China
4. Department of Pharmacy, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China
5. Radiotherapy Center, the First People's Hospital of Chenzhou, Chenzhou 423000, China
6. Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Guilin Medical University, Guilin 541004, China
7. Department of Pathology, the Second Affiliated Hospital, Guilin Medical University, Guilin 541199, China
*These authors contributed equally to this work.
MicroRNA-19 (miR-19) is identified as the key oncogenic component of the miR-17-92 cluster. When we explored the functions of the dysregulated miR-19 in lung cancer, microarray-based data unexpectedly demonstrated that some immune and inflammatory response genes (i.e., IL32, IFI6 and IFIT1) were generally down-regulated by miR-19 overexpression in A549 cells, which prompted us to fully investigate whether the miR-19 family (i.e., miR-19a and miR-19b-1) was implicated in regulating the expression of immune and inflammatory response genes in cancer cells. In the present study, we observed that miR-19a or miR-19b-1 overexpression by miRNA mimics in the A549, HCC827 and CNE2 cells significantly downregulated the expression of interferon (IFN)-regulated genes (i.e., IRF7, IFI6, IFIT1, IFITM1, IFI27 and IFI44L). Furthermore, the ectopic miR-19a or miR-19b-1 expression in the A549, HCC827, CNE2 and HONE1 cells led to a general downward trend in the expression profile of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I genes (such as HLA-B, HLA-E, HLA-F or HLA-G); conversely, miR-19a or miR-19b-1 inhibition by the miRNA inhibitor upregulated the aforementioned MHC Class I gene expression, suggesting that miR-19a or miR-19b-1 negatively modulates MHC Class I gene expression. The miR-19a or miR-19b-1 mimics reduced the expression of interleukin (IL)-related genes (i.e., IL1B, IL11RA and IL6) in the A549, HCC827, CNE2 or HONE1 cells. The ectopic expression of miR-19a or miR-19b-1 downregulated IL32 expression in the A549 and HCC827 cells and upregulated IL32 expression in CNE2 and HONE1 cells. In addition, enforced miR-19a or miR-19b-1 expression suppressed IL-6 production by lung cancer and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells. Taken together, these findings demonstrate, for the first time, that miR-19 can modulate the expression of IFN-induced genes and MHC class I genes in human cancer cells, suggesting a novel role of miR-19 in linking inflammation and cancer, which remains to be fully characterized.
Keywords: miR-19a, miR-19b-1, lung cancer, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, MHC class I gene, interferon-inducible gene, interleukin-related gene