MALAT1-associated small cytoplasmic RNA (mascRNA) is a highly conserved transfer RNA–like (tRNA-like) noncoding RNA whose function remains largely unknown. We show here that this small RNA molecule played a role in the stringent control of TLR-mediated innate immune responses. mascRNA inhibited activation of NF-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling and the production of inflammatory cytokines in macrophages stimulated with LPS, a TLR4 ligand. Furthermore, exogenous mascRNA alleviated LPS-induced lung inflammation. However, mascRNA potentiated the phosphorylation of IRF3 and STAT1 and the transcription of IFN-related genes in response to the TLR3 ligand poly(I:C) both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, mascRNA was found to enhance K48-linked ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of TRAF6, thereby negatively regulating TLR-mediated MyD88-dependent proinflammatory signaling while positively regulating TRIF-dependent IFN signaling. Additionally, heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein H (hnRNP H) and hnRNP F were found to interact with mascRNA, promote its degradation, and contribute to the fine-tuning of TLR-triggered immune responses. Taken together, our data identify a dual role of mascRNA in both negative and positive regulation of innate immune responses.
Tao Sun, Chunxue Wei, Daoyong Wang, Xuxu Wang, Jiao Wang, Yuqing Hu, Xiaohua Mao
mascRNA potentiates TLR3 signaling by promoting TRAF6 degradation.