Stable Argonaute2 overexpression differentially regulates microRNA production
Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2
Gene Expression Regulation
microRNAs are a class of small RNA molecules that associate with Argonaute proteins to regulate gene expression. Argonaute proteins not only mediate the functions of microRNAs, but also play an essential role in the biogenesis of microRNAs. Here, we report that stable, long-term overexpression of Argonaute2, an Argonaute isoform, induces the production of a number of microRNAs, such as the let-7 family of microRNAs, in 293T cells. On the other hand, the expression of many microRNAs is insensitive to elevated Argonaute levels, and microRNAs in the miR-17-92 and homologous clusters are even down-regulated. The down-regulation may result from the let-7-mediated inhibition of the expression of Myc, which positively controls the transcription of the microRNAs clusters. Our data suggest that human cells have a mechanism for microRNA homeostasis, and that overexpression of a general microRNA processing factor can differentially regulate the expression of specific microRNAs.