Conserved miR-8/miR-200 defines a glial niche that controls neuroepithelial expansion and neuroblast transition

Javier Morante, Diana M. Vallejo, Claude Desplan, Maria Dominguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Neuroepithelial cell proliferation must be carefully balanced with the transition to neuroblast (neural stem cell) to control neurogenesis. Here, we show that loss of the Drosophila microRNA mir-8 (the homolog of vertebrate miR-200 family) results in both excess proliferation and ectopic neuroblast transition. Unexpectedly, mir-8 is expressed in a subpopulation of optic-lobe-associated cortex glia that extend processes that ensheath the neuroepithelium, suggesting that glia cells communicate with the neuroepithelium. We provide evidence that miR-8-positive glia express Spitz, a transforming growth factor α (TGF-α)-like ligand that triggers epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation to promote neuroepithelial proliferation and neuroblast formation. Further, our experiments suggest that miR-8 ensures both a correct glial architecture and the spatiotemporal control of Spitz protein synthesis via direct binding to Spitz 3' UTR. Together, these results establish glial-derived cues as key regulatory elements in the control of neuroepithelial cell proliferation and the neuroblast transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-187
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 28 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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