The Journal of infectious diseases

miR-155 suppresses bacterial clearance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced keratitis by targeting Rheb.

PMID 24403554


miR-155 (microRNA-155) is an important noncoding RNA in regulating host inflammatory responses. However, its regulatory role in ocular infection remains unclear. Our study first explored the function of miR-155 in Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced keratitis, one of the most common sight-threatening ocular diseases. We found that miR-155 expression was enhanced in human and mouse corneas after P. aeruginosa infection and was mainly expressed in macrophages but not neutrophils. In vivo studies demonstrated that miR-155 knockout mice displayed more resistance to P. aeruginosa keratitis, with a higher inducible nitric oxide synthase level and a lower bacterial burden. More importantly, in vitro data indicated that miR-155 suppressed the macrophage-mediated bacterial phagocytosis and intracellular killing of P. aeruginosa by targeting Rheb (Ras homolog enriched in brain). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to explore the role of miR-155 in bacterial keratitis, which may provide a promising target for clinical treatment of P. aeruginosa keratitis and other infectious diseases.