Cutting edge: MicroRNA-181 promotes human NK cell development by regulating notch signaling

Frank Cichocki, Martin Felices, Valarie McCullar, Steven R. Presnell, Ahmad Al-Attar, Charles T. Lutz, Jeffrey S. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


MicroRNAs (miRs) have recently been identified as important regulators of gene expression at the posttranscriptional level. Although it has clearly been established that miRs influence the ontogeny of several immune cell lineages, the role of individual miRs during NK cell development has not been described. In this study, we show that miR-181 expression levels have a profound impact on the development of human NK cells from CD34 + hematopoietic progenitor cells and IFN-γ production in primary CD56 + NK cells. We also demonstrate that nemo-like kinase (NLK), an inhibitor of Notch signaling, is a target of miR-181 in NK cells, and knockdown of NLK mirrors the developmental effect of miR-181 overexpression. We conclude that miR-181 promotes NK cell development, at least in part, through the suppression of NLK, providing an important link between miRs and Notch signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6171-6175
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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