MicroRNA-182 inhibits HCMV replication through activation of type I IFN response by targeting FOXO3 in neural cells

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Abstract

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has led to kinds of clinical disorders and great morbidity worldwide, such as sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), mental retardation, and developmental delays in immunocompromised individuals. Congenital HCMV infection is a leading cause of birth defects, primarily manifesting as neurological disorders. Previous studies reported that HCMV has evolved a variety of mechanisms to evade the immune system, such as dysregulation of miRNAs. However, reports concerning the role of miRNA in HCMV infection in neural cells are limited. Here, we reported that a host microRNA, miR-182, was significantly up-regulated by HCMV infection in U-251MG and NPCs cells. Subsequently, our results of in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that miR-182 was a positive regulator of interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7) by directly targeting FOXO3, resulting in the induction of IFN-I response and suppression of HCMV replication in neural cells. Taken together, our findings provide detailed molecular mechanisms of the antiviral function of miR-182 against HCMV infection in neural cells, and suggest an intrinsic anti-HCMV therapeutic target.

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