miR-34 Modulates Innate Immunity and Ecdysone Signaling in Drosophila

Xiao Peng Xiong, Krishna Kurthkoti, Kung Yen Chang, Jian Liang Li, Xingjie Ren, Jian Quan Ni, Tariq M. Rana, Rui Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


microRNAs are endogenous small regulatory RNAs that modulate myriad biological processes by repressing target gene expression in a sequence-specific manner. Here we show that the conserved miRNA miR-34 regulates innate immunity and ecdysone signaling in Drosophila. miR-34 over-expression activates antibacterial innate immunity signaling both in cultured cells and in vivo, and flies over-expressing miR-34 display improved survival and pathogen clearance upon Gram-negative bacterial infection; whereas miR-34 knockout animals are defective in antibacterial defense. In particular, miR-34 achieves its immune-stimulatory function, at least in part, by repressing the two novel target genes Dlg1 and Eip75B. In addition, our study reveals a mutual repression between miR-34 expression and ecdysone signaling, and identifies miR-34 as a node in the intricate interplay between ecdysone signaling and innate immunity. Lastly, we identify cis-regulatory genomic elements and trans-acting transcription factors required for optimal ecdysone-mediated repression of miR-34. Taken together, our study enriches the repertoire of immune-modulating miRNAs in animals, and provides new insights into the interplay between steroid hormone signaling and innate immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1006034
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology


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