The Drosophila microRNA iab-4 causes a dominant homeotic transformation of halteres to wings

Matthew Ronshaugen, Frédéric Biemar, Jessica Piel, Mike Levine, Eric C. Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

119 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2947-2952
Number of pages6
JournalGenes and Development
Volume19
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

Keywords

  • Homeotic gene
  • Iab-4
  • Ultrabithorax
  • microRNA

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