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miR-181b negatively regulates activation-induced cytidine deaminase in B cells.

de Yebenes V.G., Belver L., Pisano D.G., Gonzalez S., Villasante A., Croce C., He L., Ramiro A.R.

Activated B cells reshape their primary antibody repertoire after antigen encounter by two molecular mechanisms: somatic hypermutation (SHM) and class switch recombination (CSR). SHM and CSR are initiated by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) through the deamination of cytosine residues on the immunoglobulin loci, which leads to the generation of DNA mutations or double-strand break intermediates. As a bystander effect, endogenous AID levels can also promote the generation of chromosome translocations, suggesting that the fine tuning of AID expression may be critical to restrict B cell lymphomagenesis. To determine whether microRNAs (miRNAs) play a role in the regulation of AID expression, we performed a functional screening of an miRNA library and identified miRNAs that regulate CSR. One such miRNA, miR-181b, impairs CSR when expressed in activated B cells, and results in the down-regulation of AID mRNA and protein levels. We found that the AID 3' untranslated region contains multiple putative binding sequences for miR-181b and that these sequences can be directly targeted by miR-181b. Overall, our results provide evidence for a new regulatory mechanism that restricts AID activity and can therefore be relevant to prevent B cell malignant transformation.

J. Exp. Med. 205:2199-2206(2008) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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