Drosophila melanogaster is widely used as a model system to study innate immunity and signaling pathways related to innate immunity, including the Toll signaling pathway. Although this pathway is well-studied, the precise mechanisms of post-transcriptional regulation of key components of the Toll signaling pathway by microRNAs (miRNAs) remain obscure. In this study we used an in silico strategy in combination with the Gal80ts-Gal4 driver system to identify microRNA-958 (miR-958) as a candidate Toll pathway regulating miRNA in Drosophila. We report that overexpression of miR-958 significantly reduces the expression of Drosomycin, a key antimicrobial peptide involved in Toll signaling and the innate immune response. We further demonstrate in vitro and in vivo that miR-958 targets the Toll and Dif genes, key components of the Toll signaling pathway, to negatively regulate Drosomycin expression. In addition, a miR-958-sponge rescued the expression of Toll and Dif, resulting in increased expression of Drosomycin. These results not only revealed a novel function and modulation pattern of miR-958, but also provided a new insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms of Toll signaling in regulation of innate immunity.
- Toll signaling
- Drosophila melanogaster
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology