Research Paper Volume 11, Issue 24 pp 12661—12673

Targeting cyclophilin-D by miR-1281 protects human macrophages from Mycobacterium tuberculosis-induced programmed necrosis and apoptosis

Qin Sun1, , Xiaona Shen1, , Peng Wang1, , Jun Ma1, , Wei Sha1, ,

  • 1 Clinic and Research Center of Tuberculosis, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Tuberculosis, Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

Received: October 18, 2019       Accepted: November 26, 2019       Published: December 28, 2019
How to Cite

Copyright © 2019 Sun et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection induces cytotoxicity to host human macrophages. The underlying signaling mechanisms are largely unknown. Here we discovered that MTB infection induced programmed necrosis in human macrophages, causing mitochondrial cyclophilin-D (CypD)-p53-adenine nucleotide translocator type 1 association, mitochondrial depolarization and lactate dehydrogenase medium release. In human macrophages MTB infection-induced programmed necrosis and apoptosis were largely attenuated by CypD inhibition (by cyclosporin A), silencing and knockout, but intensified with ectopic CypD overexpression. Further studies identified microRNA-1281 as a CypD-targeting miRNA. Ectopic overexpression of microRNA-1281 decreased CypD 3’-untranslated region activity and its expression, protecting human macrophages from MTB-induced programmed necrosis and apoptosis. Conversely, microRNA-1281 inhibition in human macrophages, by the anti-sense sequence, increased CypD expression and potentiated MTB-induced cytotoxicity. Importantly, in CypD-KO macrophages miR-1281 overexpression or inhibition was ineffective against MTB infection. Restoring CypD expression, by an untranslated region-depleted CypD construct, reversed miR-1281-induced cytoprotection against MTB in human macrophages. Collectively, these results show that targeting CypD by miR-1281 protects human macrophages from MTB-induced programmed necrosis and apoptosis.


3′-UTR: 3′-untranslated region; ANT1: adenine nucleotide translocator type 1; CCK-8: cell Counting Kit-8; CsA: cyclosporin A; CypD: cyclophilin-D; ECL: enhanced chemiluminescence; KO: knockout; LDH: lactate dehydrogenase; miR-1281: microRNA-1281; mPTP: mitochondria permeability transition pore; Mito-IP: Mitochondrial immunoprecipitation; MTB: Mycobacterium tuberculosis; MOI: multiplicity of infection; ncRNAs: non-coding RNAs; PBMCs: peripheral blood mononuclear cells; PVDF: polyvinylidene difluoride; qPCR: quantitative real-time PCR; shRNA: short hairpin RNA; SD: standard deviation; TB: tuberculosis; TUNEL: terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated Dutp nick-end labeling.