MicroRNA-486-3p Regulates γ-Globin Expression in Human Erythroid Cells by Directly Modulating BCL11A

Valentina Lulli, Paolo Romania, Ornella Morsilli, Paolo Cianciulli, Marco Gabbianelli, Ugo Testa, Alessandro Giuliani, Giovanna Marziali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play key roles in modulating a variety of cellular processes through repression of mRNAs target. The functional relevance of microRNAs has been proven in normal and malignant hematopoiesis. While analyzing miRNAs expression profile in unilineage serum-free liquid suspension unilineage cultures of peripheral blood CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) through the erythroid, megakaryocytic, granulocytic and monocytic pathways, we identified miR-486-3p as mainly expressed within the erythroid lineage. We showed that miR-486-3p regulates BCL11A expression by binding to the extra-long isoform of BCL11A 3′UTR. Overexpression of miR-486-3p in erythroid cells resulted in reduced BCL11A protein levels, associated to increased expression of γ-globin gene, whereas inhibition of physiological miR-486-3p levels increased BCL11A and, consequently, reduced γ-globin expression. Thus, miR-486-3p regulating BCL11A expression might contributes to fetal hemoglobin (HbF) modulation and arise the question as to what extent this miRNA might contribute to different HbF levels observed among β-thalassemia patients. Erythroid cells, differentiated from PB CD34+ cells of a small cohort of patients affected by major or intermedia β-thalassemia, showed miR-486-3p levels significantly higher than those observed in normal counterpart. Importantly, in these patients, miR-486-3p expression correlates with increased HbF synthesis. Thus, our data indicate that miR-486-3p might contribute to different HbF levels observed among thalassemic patients and, possibly, to the clinical severity of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere60436
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 4 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'MicroRNA-486-3p Regulates γ-Globin Expression in Human Erythroid Cells by Directly Modulating BCL11A'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this