Identification of MiR-205 As a MicroRNA That Is Highly Expressed in Medullary Thymic Epithelial Cells.

Publication Type:


PLoS One, Volume 10, Issue 8, p.e0135440 (2015)


<p>Thymic epithelial cells (TECs) support T cell development in the thymus. Cortical thymic epithelial cells (cTECs) facilitate positive selection of developing thymocytes whereas medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) facilitate the deletion of self-reactive thymocytes in order to prevent autoimmunity. The mTEC compartment is highly dynamic with continuous maturation and turnover, but the genetic regulation of these processes remains poorly understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of TEC genetic programs since miRNA-deficient TECs are severely defective. However, the individual miRNAs important for TEC maintenance and function and their mechanisms of action remain unknown. Here, we demonstrate that miR-205 is highly and preferentially expressed in mTECs during both thymic ontogeny and in the postnatal thymus. This distinct expression is suggestive of functional importance for TEC biology. Genetic ablation of miR-205 in TECs, however, neither revealed a role for miR-205 in TEC function during homeostatic conditions nor during recovery from thymic stress conditions. Thus, despite its distinct expression, miR-205 on its own is largely dispensable for mTEC biology.</p>