Autophagy plays an important role in the fight against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Massive researches proved that miRNAs could be the regulators of autophagy, which implied miRNAs could favor MTB invasion or latent infection. In our study, multiple bioinformatics databases and software were used to seek and lock the miRNAs associating with regulation of autophagy. Notably, a novel miR-129-3p was found and its target gene Atg4b showed grand potential in mediation of autophagy. Moreover, BCG infection triggered miR-129-3p overexpression in RAW264.7 cells. Up-regulation of miR-129-3p decreased mRNA or protein level of Atg4b and resulted in the inhibition of autophagy. The antagomir of miR-129-3p had the opposite impact. The LC3 puncta formation in RAW264.7 cells were also affected after transfection of miR-129-3p mimic or antagomir. The mRFP-GFP-LC3 analysis indicated that mimic of miR-129-3p impaired autophagic flux while antagomir improved autophagy. The CFU assay results showed that miR-129-3p promoted the intracellular survival of BCG in macrophages. Consequently, these data suggested that miR-129-3p could favor MTB survival by inhibiting autophagy via Atg4b.
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