Primate-specific miR-576-3p sets host defense signalling threshold

Melanie L. Yarbrough, Ke Zhang, Ramanavelan Sakthivel, Christian V. Forst, Bruce A. Posner, Glen N. Barber, Michael A. White, Beatriz M.A. Fontoura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to regulate viral infection, but the miRNAs that target intracellular sensors and adaptors of innate immunity have not been fully uncovered. Here we conduct an miRNA mimic screen and validation with miRNA inhibitors in cells infected with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) to identify miRNAs that regulate viral-host interactions. We identify miR-576-3p as a robust regulator of infection by VSV and other RNA and DNA viruses. While an miR-576-3p mimic sensitizes cells to viral replication, inhibition of endogenous miR-576-3p prevents infection. miR-576-3p is induced by IRF3 concomitantly with interferon and targets STING, MAVS and TRAF3, which are critical factors for interferon expression. Interestingly, miR-576-3p and its binding sites are primate-specific and miR-576-3p levels are reduced in inflammatory diseases. These findings indicate that induction of miR-576-3p by IRF3 triggers a feedback mechanism to reduce interferon expression and set an antiviral response threshold to likely avoid excessive inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4963
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - 2014


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