Am J Clin Exp Immunol 2012;1(2):154-165

Original Article
Differential microRNA epression in asthma and the role of miR-1248 in
regulation of IL-5

Ronaldo Paolo L Panganiban, Mark H Pinkerton, Saumya Y Maru, Sarah J Jefferson, Alanna N Roff, Faoud T Ishmael

Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Section of Allergy and Immunology,
The Pennsylvania State University Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 500 University Dr., Hershey, PA 17033, USA;
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, 500
University Dr., Hershey, PA 17033, USA

Received October 15, 2012; Accepted November 3, 2012; Epub XXX, 2012; Published XXX, 2012

Abstract: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that can be difficult to manage due to a lack of diagnostic
biomarkers and an incomplete understanding of the molecular pathogenesis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small,
singlestranded, non-coding RNAs with increasing importance in regulation of immune function and as biomarkers. We
profiled miRNAs in the serum of asthmatics and non-asthmatic controls to identify miRNAs that could serve as
diagnostic markers and potential regulators of allergic inflammation. Differential expression of miR-1248, miR-26a, Let-
7a, and Let-7d were observed in asthmatic patients compared to controls. Predictive algorithm analyses of these
miRNAs revealed their specificity for different Th2 cytokines, including IL-5, which has not previously been shown to be
post-transcriptionally regulated. Using multiple approaches, we showed that miR-1248 physically interacts with the IL-5
transcript in the 3’ untranslated region and serves as a positive regulator to increase IL-5 expression. Collectively, our
results demonstrate a previously uncharacterized mode of regulation of IL-5 expression and potential use for miRNAs in
the diagnosis and clinical management of asthma. (AJCEI1210003).

Keywords: Asthma, microRNA, cytokines, biomarkers, interleukin-5

Address all correspondence to:
Dr. Faoud T Ishmael
The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
500 University Dr., H171, Hershey
PA 17033, USA.
Tel: 717-531-0003 ext. 282047; Fax: 717-531-7072
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