Program in Molecular Medicine
Caenorhabditis elegans; MicroRNAs
Developmental Biology | Genetics | Molecular Genetics
Biological robustness, the ability of an organism to maintain a steady-state output as genetic or environmental inputs change, is critical for proper development. MicroRNAs have been implicated in biological robustness mechanisms through their post-transcriptional regulation of genes and gene networks. Previous research has illustrated examples of microRNAs promoting robustness as part of feedback loops and genetic switches and by buffering noisy gene expression resulting from environmental and/or internal changes. Here we show that the evolutionarily conserved microRNAs mir-34 and mir-83 (homolog of mammalian mir-29) contribute to the robust migration pattern of the distal tip cells in Caenorhabditis elegans by specifically protecting against stress from temperature changes. Furthermore, our results indicate that mir-34 and mir-83 may modulate the integrin signaling involved in distal tip cell migration by potentially targeting the GTPase cdc-42 and the beta-integrin pat-3. Our findings suggest a role for mir-34 and mir-83 in integrin-controlled cell migrations that may be conserved through higher organisms. They also provide yet another example of microRNA-based developmental robustness in response to a specific environmental stress, rapid temperature fluctuations.
distal tip cell migrations, mir-29, mir-34, mir-83, robustness
Rights and Permissions
Available freely online through the author-supported open access option.
DOI of Published Version
Genetics. 2015 Aug;200(4):1201-18. doi: 10.1534/genetics.115.179184. Epub 2015 Jun 15. Link to article on publisher's site
Burke, Samantha L.; Hammell, Molly; and Ambros, Victor R., "Robust Distal Tip Cell Pathfinding in the Face of Temperature Stress Is Ensured by Two Conserved microRNAS in Caenorhabditis elegans" (2015). Program in Molecular Medicine Publications and Presentations. 40.