miR-126 Is Downregulated in Cystic Fibrosis Airway Epithelial Cells and Regulates TOM1 Expression.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common lethal genetic diseases in which the role of microRNAs has yet to be explored. Predicted to be regulated by miR-126, TOM1 (target of Myb1) has been shown to interact with Toll-interacting protein, forming a complex to regulate endosomal trafficking of ubiquitinated proteins. TOM1 has also been proposed as a negative regulator of IL-1beta and TNF-alpha-induced signaling pathways. MiR-126 is highly expressed in the lung, and we now show for the first time differential expression of miR-126 in CF versus non-CF airway epithelial cells both in vitro and in vivo. MiR-126 downregulation in CF bronchial epithelial cells correlated with a significant upregulation of TOM1 mRNA, both in vitro and in vivo when compared with their non-CF counterparts. Introduction of synthetic pre-miR-126 inhibited luciferase activity in a reporter system containing the full length 3'-untranslated region of TOM1 and resulted in decreased TOM1 protein production in CF bronchial epithelial cells. Following stimulation with LPS or IL-1beta, overexpression of TOM1 was found to downregulate NF-kappaB luciferase activity. Conversely, TOM1 knockdown resulted in a significant increase in NF-kappaB regulated IL-8 secretion. These data show that miR-126 is differentially regulated in CF versus non-CF airway epithelial cells and that TOM1 is a miR-126 target that may have an important role in regulating innate immune responses in the CF lung. To our knowledge, this study is the first to report of a role for TOM1 in the TLR2/4 signaling pathways and the first to describe microRNA involvement in CF.