Apr 6, 2020

miRNAs and neural alternative polyadenylation specify the virgin behavioral state

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Daniel L GarauletEric C. Lai


How are diverse regulatory strategies integrated to impose appropriately patterned gene expression that underlie in vivo phenotypes? Here, we reveal how coordinated miRNA regulation and neural-specific alternative polyadenylation (APA) of a single locus controls complex behaviors. Our entry was the unexpected observation that deletion of Bithorax-Complex (BX-C) miRNAs converts virgin female flies into a subjective post-mated behavioral state, normally induced by seminal proteins following copulation. Strikingly, this behavioral switch is directly attributable to misregulation of homothorax (hth). We localize specific CNS abdominal neurons where de-repressed Hth compromises virgin behavior in BX-C miRNA mutants. Moreover, we use genome engineering to demonstrate that precise mutation of hth 3'UTR sites for BX-C miRNAs, or deletion of its neural 3' UTR extension containing most of these sites, both induce post-mated behaviors in virgins. Thus, facilitation of miRNA-mediated repression by neural APA is required for virgin females to execute behaviors appropriate to their internal state.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Immune Response
Regulation of Biological Process
Nucleic Acid Sequencing
Gene Expression
RNA Processing

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