Paper of the Month
August 8, 2016- Contributed by Nicholas LeBlond
Micro RNAs (miRNA) are short non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression by repressing translation or promoting degradation of target gene transcripts. MiRNA-33 is encoded within an intron of Sterol regulatory element-binding protein and regulates many aspects of cellular cholesterol homeostasis. Lai et al. have reported a novel role for MiRNA-33 in modulating TLR-dependent pro-inflammatory cytokine production within macrophages. This group have provided evidence that suggests that the pro-inflammatory effects of MiRNA-33 are dependent on cholesterol transport proteins ABCA1/ABCG1 and the remodeling of lipid microdomains. Altering lipid microdomains or increasing the expression of cholesterol transport proteins combated the pro-inflammatory effects of MiRNA-33, which implicates a role for membrane lipid microdomains in macrophage inflammation.