Journal of Immunology Research / 2017 / Article / Fig 1

Review Article

MicroRNAs Regulate Thymic Epithelium in Age-Related Thymic Involution via Down- or Upregulation of Transcription Factors

Figure 1

miRNA fine-tune age-related thymic involution through regulation of TEC-autonomous transcription factors. (a) Under normal conditions, a given TF (such as Foxn1) is fine-tuned by miRNAs at its 3-UTR sites; meanwhile, the TF is also potentially regulated by its suppressive factors, which is also fine-tuned at their 3UTR sites by miRNAs. The regulatory networks coregulate TF expression; (b) in the aged condition, some miRNAs, which directly suppress TFs, are potentially increased (from + to +++). At the same time, other miRNAs, which suppress TF suppressors, may be decreased (from +++ to +), which results in enhancement of the TF-suppressor expression which inhibit TF expression. The consequence of this combination is that the TF level is decreased. If the TF for TEC homeostasis is decreased during aging, age-related thymic involution takes place.
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