The Drosophila microRNA iab-4 causes a dominant homeotic transformation of halteres to wings.
ABSTRACT The Drosophila Bithorax Complex encodes three well-characterized homeodomain proteins that direct segment identity, as well as several noncoding RNAs of unknown function. Here, we analyze the iab-4 locus, which produces the microRNAs iab-4-5p and iab-4-3p. iab-4 is analogous to miR-196 in vertebrate Hox clusters. Previous studies demonstrate that miR-196 interacts with the Hoxb8 3' untranslated region. Evidence is presented that miR-iab-4-5p directly inhibits Ubx activity in vivo. Ectopic expression of mir-iab-4-5p attenuates endogenous Ubx protein accumulation and induces a classical homeotic mutant phenotype: the transformation of halteres into wings. These findings provide the first evidence for a noncoding homeotic gene and raise the possibility that other such genes occur within the Bithorax complex. We also discuss the regulation of mir-iab-4 expression during development.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Matthew Ronshaugen, Jul 15, 2014
SourceAvailable from: Raúl Montañez Martínez
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ABSTRACT: Patterning and phenotypic variations of appendages in insects provide important clues on developmental genetics. In the silkworm Bombyx mori, morphological variations associated with the E complex, an analogue of the Drosophila melanogaster bithorax complex, mainly determine the shape and number of prolegs on abdominal segments. Here, we report the identification and characterization of the allele responsible for the supernumerary crescents and legs-like (ECs-l) mutant, a model derived from spontaneous mutation of the E complex, with supernumerary legs and extra crescents. Fine mapping with 1605 individuals revealed a ∼68 kb sequence in the upstream intergenic region of B. mori abdominal-A (Bmabd-A) clustered with the ECs-l locus. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blotting analyses disclosed a marked increase in Bmabd-A expression in the ECs-l mutant at both the transcriptional and translational levels, compared to wild-type Dazao. Furthermore, we observed ectopic expression of the Bmabd-A protein in the second abdominal segment (A2) of the ECs-l mutant. Our results collectively suggest that the 68 kb region contains important regulatory elements of the Bmabd-A gene, and provide evidence that the gene is required for limb development in abdominal segments in the silkworm.Insect Molecular Biology 10/2013; 22(5). DOI:10.1111/imb.12039 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In 2009 we reported that depletion of Dicer-1, the enzyme that catalyzes the final step of miRNA biosynthesis, prevents metamorphosis in Blattella germanica. However, the precise regulatory roles of miRNAs in the process have remained elusive. In the present work, we have observed that Dicer-1 depletion results in an increase of mRNA levels of Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1), a juvenile hormone-dependent transcription factor that represses metamorphosis, and that depletion of Kr-h1 expression in Dicer-1 knockdown individuals rescues metamorphosis. We have also found that the 3'UTR of Kr-h1 mRNA contains a functional binding site for miR-2 family miRNAs (for miR-2, miR-13a, and miR-13b). These data suggest that metamorphosis impairment caused by Dicer-1 and miRNA depletion is due to a deregulation of Kr-h1 expression and that this deregulation is derived from a deficiency of miR-2 miRNAs. We corroborated this by treating the last nymphal instar of B. germanica with an miR-2 inhibitor, which impaired metamorphosis, and by treating Dicer-1-depleted individuals with an miR-2 mimic to allow nymphal-to-adult metamorphosis to proceed. Taken together, the data indicate that miR-2 miRNAs scavenge Kr-h1 transcripts when the transition from nymph to adult should be taking place, thus crucially contributing to the correct culmination of metamorphosis.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2015; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1418522112 · 9.81 Impact Factor