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Dynamic miRNA-mRNA regulations are essential for maintaining Drosophila immune homeostasis during Micrococcus luteus infection

Wei, Guanyun, Sun, Lianjie, Li, Ruimin, Li, Lei, Xu, Jiao, Ma, Fei
Developmental and comparative immunology 2018 v.81 pp. 210-224
Drosophila, Micrococcus luteus, adults, bacteria, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, homeostasis, immune response, innate immunity, males, messenger RNA, microRNA, pathogens, sequence analysis, signal transduction
Pathogen bacteria infections can lead to dynamic changes of microRNA (miRNA) and mRNA expression profiles, which may control synergistically the outcome of immune responses. To reveal the role of dynamic miRNA-mRNA regulation in Drosophila innate immune responses, we have detailedly analyzed the paired miRNA and mRNA expression profiles at three time points during Drosophila adult males with Micrococcus luteus (M. luteus) infection using RNA- and small RNA-seq data. Our results demonstrate that differentially expressed miRNAs and mRNAs represent extensively dynamic changes over three time points during Drosophila with M. luteus infection. The pathway enrichment analysis indicates that differentially expressed genes are involved in diverse signaling pathways, including Toll and Imd as well as orther signaling pathways at three time points during Drosophila with M. luteus infection. Remarkably, the dynamic change of miRNA expression is delayed by compared to mRNA expression change over three time points, implying that the “time” parameter should be considered when the function of miRNA/mRNA is further studied. In particular, the dynamic miRNA-mRNA regulatory networks have shown that miRNAs may synergistically regulate gene expressions of different signaling pathways to promote or inhibit innate immune responses and maintain homeostasis in Drosophila, and some new regulators involved in Drosophila innate immune response have been identified. Our findings strongly suggest that miRNA regulation is a key mechanism involved in fine-tuning cooperatively gene expressions of diverse signaling pathways to maintain innate immune response and homeostasis in Drosophila. Taken together, the present study reveals a novel role of dynamic miRNA-mRNA regulation in immune response to bacteria infection, and provides a new insight into the underlying molecular regulatory mechanism of Drosophila innate immune responses.