The roles of microRNAs on tuberculosis infection: Meaning or myth?

Harapan Harapan, Fitra Fitra, Ichsan Ichsan, Mulyadi Mulyadi, Paolo Miotto, Nabeeh A. Hasan, Marta Calado, Daniela M. Cirillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The central proteins for protection against tuberculosis are attributed to interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1β, while IL-10 primarily suppresses anti-mycobacterial responses. Several studies found alteration of expression profile of genes involved in anti-mycobacterial responses in macrophages and natural killer (NK) cells from active and latent tuberculosis and from tuberculosis and healthy controls. This alteration of cellular composition might be regulated by microRNAs (miRNAs). Albeit only 1% of the genomic transcripts in mammalian cells encode miRNA, they are predicted to control the activity of more than 60% of all protein-coding genes and they have a huge influence in pathogenesis theory, diagnosis and treatment approach to some diseases. Several miRNAs have been found to regulate T cell differentiation and function and have critical role in regulating the innate function of macrophages, dendritic cells and NK cells. Here, we have reviewed the role of miRNAs implicated in tuberculosis infection, especially related to their new roles in the molecular pathology of tuberculosis immunology and as new targets for future tuberculosis diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-605
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • microRNA
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Tuberculosis immunology
  • Tuberculosis infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)


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