Decreased microRNA(miR)-145 and increased miR-224 expression in T cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus involved in lupus immunopathogenesis

M. C. Lu, N. S. Lai, H. C. Chen, H. C. Yu, K. Y. Huang, C. H. Tung, H. B. Huang, C. L. Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

100 Scopus citations


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease with abnormal T cell immune responses. We hypothesized that aberrant expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) in T cells may contribute to the pathogenesis of SLE. First, we analysed the expression profiles of 270 human miRNAs in T cells from five SLE patients and five healthy controls and then validated those potentially aberrant-expressed miRNAs using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Then, the expression of mRNAs regulated by these aberrant-expressed miRNAs was detected using real-time PCR. Finally, miRNA transfection into Jurkat T cells was conducted for confirming further the biological functions of these miRNAs. The initial analysis indicated that seven miRNAs, including miR-145, miR-224, miR-513-5p, miR-150, miR-516a-5p, miR-483-5p and miR-629, were found to be potentially abnormally expressed in SLE T cells. After validation, under-expressed miR-145 and over-expressed miR-224 were noted. We further found that STAT1 mRNA targeted by miR-145 was over-expressed and apoptosis inhibitory protein 5 (API5) mRNA targeted by miR-224 was under-expressed in SLE T cells. Transfection of Jurkat cells with miR-145 suppressed STAT1 and miR-224 transfection suppressed API5 protein expression. Over-expression of miR-224 facilitates activation-induced cell death in Jurkat cells. In the clinical setting, the increased transcript levels of STAT1 were associated significantly with lupus nephritis. In conclusion, we first demonstrated that miR-145 and miR-224 were expressed aberrantly in SLE T cells that modulated the protein expression of their target genes, STAT1 and API5, respectively. These miRNA aberrations accelerated T cell activation-induced cell death by suppressing API5 expression and associated with lupus nephritis by enhancing signal transducer and activator of transcription-1 (STAT)-1 expression in patients with SLE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 01 2013


  • API5
  • MiR-145
  • MiR-224
  • STAT-1
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus


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