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A single miRNA drives hemimetabolan metamophosis to a right end

AuthorsBellés, Xavier ; Lozano Fernández, Jesús ; Montañez, Raúl
Issue DateJul-2013
CitationInsect Hormones (19th Ecdysone) International Workshop (2013)
AbstractPrevious studies carried out in our laboratory had shown that RNAi depletion of dicer-1, a key enzyme involved in miRNA maturation, inhibited metamorphosis in the cockroach Blattella germanica. Dicer-1 suppression in the last (6th) instar nymph triggered the depletion of miRNA expression, and the nymphs molted to a supernumerary 7th nymphal instar instead to molt to adults. In order to identify which miRNAs are involved in regulating metamorphosis, we focused our attention on Krüppel-h1 (Kr-h1), a JH-dependent transcription factor that represses metamorphosis. Indeed, a decrease of Kr-h1 expression in the pre-metamorphic instar is crucial for metamorphosis progression. The decrease is abrupt, and this abruptness is hardly explained only by mechanisms controlling Kr-h1 transcription, and might be driven by miRNAs. Using again B. germanica as model, we observed that RNAi of Kr-h1 carried out in dicer-1-depleted specimens rescued normal metamorphosis. This pointed to miRNAs affecting Kr-h1 as responsible of the metamorphosis inhibition triggered by dicer-1 depletion. We also observed that the 3’UTR of Kr-h1 mRNA contains predicted sites for miR-2 family miRNAs, and that the predicted sites are functional, according to the results of luciferase reporter assays. Moreover, depletion of miR-2a impaired the decrease of Kr-h1 expression leading to metamorphosis inhibition, and administration of miR-2a mimic rescued the normal metamorphosis phenotype in dicer-1-depleted insects. The whole data suggests that miR-2a plays the key role of radically removing Kr-h1 mRNA in the premetamorphic stage, as a prerequisite for the activation of the transcription factors repressed by Kr-h1 that are the ultimate inducers of metamorphosis.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en el Insect Hormones (19th Ecdysone) International Workshop, celebrado en Minneapolis del 21 al 26 de julio de 2013.
Appears in Collections:(IBE) Comunicaciones congresos
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