Wanzhong GE, Yawen CHEN, Ruifen WENG, Sing Fee LIM, Marita BUESCHER, R ZHANG and Stephen M COHEN.
Institute of Molecular Cell Biology, 61 Biopolis Drive, Singapore 138673, Singapore
Published in Cell Death Differ. 2011 Nov 18. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2011.161.
[Epub ahead of print]
Regulation of apoptosis is crucial for tissue homeostasis under normal development and environmental stress. In Drosophila, cell death occurs in different developmental processes including embryogenesis. Here, we report that two members of the miR-2 seed family of microRNAs, miR-6 and miR-11, function together to limit the level of apoptosis during Drosophila embryonic development. Mutants lacking both miR-6 and miR-11 show embryonic lethality and defects in the central nervous system (CNS). We provide evidence that miR-6/11 functions through regulation of the proapoptotic genes, reaper (rpr), head involution defective (hid), grim and sickle (skl). Upregulation of these proapoptotic genes is responsible for the elevated apoptosis and the CNS defects in the mutants. These findings demonstrate that the activity of the proapoptotic genes is kept in check by miR-6/11 to ensure normal development.