PloS one

Differential MicroRNA Expression in Human Macrophages with Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection of Beijing/W and Non-Beijing/W Strain Types.

PMID 26053546


The role of microRNAs in association with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection and the immunology regulated by microRNAs upon MTB infection have not been fully unravelled. We examined the microRNA profiles of THP-1 macrophages upon the MTB infection of Beijing/W and non-Beijing/W clinical strains. We also studied the microRNA profiles of the host macrophages by microarray in a small cohort with active MTB disease, latent infection (LTBI), and from healthy controls. The results revealed that 14 microRNAs differentiated infections of Beijing/W from non-Beijing/W strains (P<0.05). A unique signature of 11 microRNAs in human macrophages was identified to differentiate active MTB disease from LTBI and healthy controls. Pathway analyses of these differentially expressed miRNAs suggest that the immune-regulatory interactions involving TGF-β signalling pathway take part in the dysregulation of critical TB processes in the macrophages, resulting in active expression of both cell communication and signalling transduction systems. We showed for the first time that the Beijing/W TB strains repressed a number of miRNAs expressions which may reflect their virulence characteristics in altering the host response. The unique signatures of 11 microRNAs may deserve further evaluation as candidates for biomarkers in the diagnosis of MTB and Beijing/W infections.