Aberrant cellular responses to pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IFN-γ, are pathogenic features in many chronic inflammatory diseases. A variety of feedback regulatory pathways have evolved to prevent an inappropriate cellular reaction to these pro-inflammatory cytokines. CX3CL1 is a unique chemokine and plays an important role in chronic liver diseases. We report here that IFN-γ stimulation induces a transient CX3CL1 production in liver epithelial cells (i.e., hepatocytes and biliary epithelial cells). This transient CX3CL1 production is accompanied with a destabilization of CX3CL1 mRNA associated with the induction of the KH-type splicing regulatory protein (KSRP). IFN-γ treatment of liver epithelial cells decreases expression level of miR-27b, a miRNA that targets the 3′ untranslated region of KSRP mRNA resulting in translational suppression. Induction of KSRP following IFN-γ stimulation depends on the downregulation of miR-27b. Functional manipulation of KSRP or miR-27b caused reciprocal alterations in CX3CL1 mRNA stability in liver epithelial cells. Moreover, transfection of miR-27b precursor influences CX3CL1-associated chemotaxis effects of biliary epithelial cells to Jurkat T cells. These findings suggest that miR-27b-mediated post-transcriptional suppression controls the expression of KSRP in liver epithelial cells, and upregulation of KSRP destabilizes CX3CL1 mRNA, providing fine-tuning of cellular inflammatory reactions in response to IFN-γ stimulation.
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