MicroRNA-17-3p suppresses NF-κB-mediated endothelial inflammation by targeting NIK and IKKβ binding protein

Yin Cai, Yu Zhang, Hui Chen, Xing hui Sun, Peng Zhang, Lu Zhang, Meng yang Liao, Fang Zhang, Zheng yuan Xia, Ricky Ying keung Man, Mark W. Feinberg, Susan Wai Sum Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation contributes to many vascular inflammatory diseases. The present study tested the hypothesis that microRNA-17-3p (miR-17-3p) suppresses the pro-inflammatory responses via NF-κB signaling in vascular endothelium. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), transfected with or without miR-17-3p agomir/antagomir, were exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the inflammatory responses were determined. The cellular target of miR-17-3p was examined with dual-luciferase reporter assay. Mice were treated with miR-17-3p agomir and the degree of LPS-induced inflammation was determined. In HUVECs, LPS caused upregulation of miR-17-3p. Overexpression of miR-17-3p in HUVECs inhibited NIK and IKKβ binding protein (NIBP) protein expression and suppressed LPS-induced phosphorylation of inhibitor of kappa Bα (IκBα) and NF-κB-p65. The reduced NF-κB activity was paralleled by decreased protein levels of NF-κB-target gene products including pro-inflammatory cytokine [interleukin 6], chemokines [interleukin 8 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1] and adhesion molecules [vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and E-selectin]. Immunostaining revealed that overexpression of miR-17-3p reduced monocyte adhesion to LPS-stimulated endothelial cells. Inhibition of miR-17-3p with antagomir has the opposite effect on LPS-induced inflammatory responses in HUVECs. The anti-inflammatory effect of miR-17-3p was mimicked by NIBP knockdown. In mice treated with LPS, miR-17-3p expression was significantly increased. Systemic administration of miR-17-3p for 3 days suppressed LPS-induced NF-κB activation and monocyte adhesion to endothelium in lung tissues of the mice. In conclusion, miR-17-3p inhibits LPS-induced NF-κB activation in HUVECs by targeting NIBP. The findings therefore suggest that miR-17-3p is a potential therapeutic target/agent in the management of vascular inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Pharmacologica Sinica
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Feb 2021


  • endothelial cells
  • inflammation
  • miR-17-3p
  • NIK and IKKβ binding protein
  • nuclear factor kappa B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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