MicroRNAs Regulate Thymic Epithelium in Age-Related Thymic Involution via Down-or Upregulation of Transcription Factors

Minwen Xu, Xiaoli Zhang, Ruiyun Hong, Dong Ming Su, Liefeng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Age-related thymic involution is primarily induced by defects in nonhematopoietic thymic epithelial cells (TECs). It is characterized by dysfunction of multiple transcription factors (TFs), such as p63 and FoxN1, and also involves other TEC-associated regulators, such as Aire. These TFs and regulators are controlled by complicated regulatory networks, in which microRNAs (miRNAs) act as a key player. miRNAs can either directly target the 3′-UTRs (untranslated regions) of the TFs to suppress TF expression or target TF inhibitors to reduce or increase TF inhibitor expression and thereby indirectly enhance or inhibit TF expression. Here, we review the current understanding and recent studies about how miRNAs are involved in age-related thymic involution via regulation of TEC-autonomous TFs. We also discuss potential strategies for targeting miRNAs to rejuvenate age-related declined thymic function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2528957
JournalJournal of Immunology Research
Volume2017
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

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