A functional genomics screen for microRNA regulators of NF-kappaB signaling

Anthony O. Olarerin-George, Lauren Anton, Yih Chii Hwang, Michal A. Elovitz, John B. Hogenesch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background: The nuclear factor-KappaB (NF-κB) pathway is conserved from fruit flies to humans and is a key mediator of inflammatory signaling. Aberrant regulation of NF-κB is associated with several disorders including autoimmune disease, chronic inflammation, and cancer, making the NF-κB pathway an attractive therapeutic target. Many regulatory components of the NF-κB pathway have been identified, including microRNAs (miRNAs). miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs and are common components of signal transduction pathways. Here we present a cell-based functional genomics screen to systematically identify miRNAs that regulate NF-κB signaling.Results: We screened a library of miRNA mimics using a NF-κB reporter cell line in the presence and absence of tumor necrosis factor (+/- TNF). There were 9 and 15 hits in the -TNF and +TNF screens, respectively. We identified putative functional targets of these hits by integrating computational predictions with NF-κB modulators identified in a previous genome-wide cDNA screen. miR-517a and miR-517c were the top hits, activating the reporter 86- and 126-fold, respectively. Consistent with these results, miR-517a/c induced the expression of endogenous NF-κB targets and promoted the nuclear localization of p65 and the degradation of IκB. We identified TNFAIP3 interacting protein1 (TNIP1) as a target and characterized a functional SNP in the miR-517a/c binding site. Lastly, miR-517a/c induced apoptosis in vitro, which was phenocopied by knockdown of TNIP1.Conclusions: Our study suggests that miRNAs are common components of NF-κB signaling and miR-517a/c may play an important role in linking NF-κB signaling with cell survival through TNIP1.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalBMC Biology
StatePublished - 28 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • NF-kappaB
  • RNAi
  • TNF
  • TNIP1
  • apoptosis
  • miR-517
  • miRNA
  • microRNA
  • screen


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