MicroRNA Profiles in Monocyte-Derived Macrophages Generated by Interleukin-27 and Human Serum: Identification of a Novel HIV-Inhibiting and Autophagy-Inducing MicroRNA

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jan 28;22(3):1290. doi: 10.3390/ijms22031290.


Interleukin-27 (IL-27) is a pleiotropic cytokine that influences the innate and adaptive immune systems. It inhibits viral infection and regulates the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs). We recently reported that macrophages differentiated from human primary monocytes in the presence of IL-27 and human AB serum resisted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and showed significant autophagy induction. In the current study, the miRNA profiles in these cells were investigated, especially focusing on the identification of novel miRNAs regulated by IL-27-treatment. The miRNA sequencing analysis detected 38 novel miRNAs. Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis confirmed that IL-27 differentially regulated the expression of 16 of the 38 miRNAs. Overexpression of the synthesized miRNA mimics by transfection revealed that miRAB40 had potent HIV-inhibiting and autophagy-inducing properties. B18R, an interferon (IFN)-neutralization protein, partially suppressed both activities, indicating that the two functions were induced via IFN-dependent and -independent pathways. Although the target mRNA(s) of miRAB40 involving in the induction of both functions was unable to identify in this study, the discovery of miRAB40, a potential HIV-inhibiting and autophagy inducing miRNA, may provide novel insights into the miRNA (small none-coding RNA)-mediated regulation of HIV inhibition and autophagy induction as an innate immune response.

Keywords: AB-serum; IL-27; M-CSF; anti-HIV; autophagy; interferon; macrophages; microRNA.

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interferons / metabolism
  • Interleukin-27 / pharmacology*
  • Macrophages / chemistry
  • Macrophages / cytology*
  • Macrophages / virology
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / pharmacology
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Serum / chemistry
  • Virus Replication


  • Interleukin-27
  • MicroRNAs
  • Interferons