Mycobacterial infection-induced miR-206 inhibits protective neutrophil recruitment via the CXCL12/CXCR4 signalling axis

Publication Type:
Journal Article
PLOS Pathogens, 2021, 17, (4), pp. e1009186
Issue Date:
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Pathogenic mycobacteria actively dysregulate protective host immune signalling pathways during infection to drive the formation of permissive granuloma microenvironments. Dynamic regulation of host microRNA (miRNA) expression is a conserved feature of mycobacterial infections across host-pathogen pairings. Here we examine the role of miR-206 in the zebrafish model of Mycobacterium marinum infection, which allows investigation of the early stages of granuloma formation. We find miR-206 is upregulated following infection by pathogenic M. marinum and that antagomir-mediated knockdown of miR-206 is protective against infection. We observed striking upregulation of cxcl12a and cxcr4b in infected miR-206 knockdown zebrafish embryos and live imaging revealed enhanced recruitment of neutrophils to sites of infection. We used CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockdown of cxcl12a and cxcr4b expression and AMD3100 inhibition of Cxcr4 to show that the enhanced neutrophil response and reduced bacterial burden caused by miR-206 knockdown was dependent on the Cxcl12/Cxcr4 signalling axis. Together, our data illustrate a pathway through which pathogenic mycobacteria induce host miR-206 expression to suppress Cxcl12/Cxcr4 signalling and prevent protective neutrophil recruitment to granulomas.
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