Understanding the role of miRNA-277 in the growth and survival

Understanding the role of miRNA-277 in the growth and survival



Prajakta D. Deshpande, Esther Lu Lu Seng Labya


Presentation: 9:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom

This project reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.

Course: BIO 421



Cell size plays an important role in the cellular processes and function of a cell. Hence cell size and growth need to be maintained properly. Gene regulation plays an important role in regulating gene expression of different cellular processes like apoptosis, cell growth, etc. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small single-stranded RNAs, regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by binding to the 3’untranslated region of their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs), degrading their target and hence silencing their gene expression. Our lab has identified that miRNA-277 (miR-277) inhibits apoptosis in the Drosophila eye model. We employed the Gal4-UAS system in Drosophila melanogaster to misexpress head involution defective (hid), a pro-apoptotic factor, within the developing fly retina, exhibits reduced eye phenotype. Hid expression is regulated during embryogenesis, larval development, and metamorphosis. Hid is known to be regulated by the Hippo pathway, miRNAs, etc. Our lab found that gain-of-function of miR-277 in the background of GMR>hid rescues the reduced eye phenotype. Furthermore, hid plays a role in programmed cell death (PCD) during pupal development by removing extra-interommatidial cells. The previous study shows that in the hippo (hpo) mutants, hid transcript levels were reduced in interommatidial cells and failed to undergo PCD. The question remains unanswered how hpo modulates hid expression during pupal development. We hypothesize that miR-277 can provide a link since miR-277 inhibits hid mRNA expression. Furthermore, our preliminary data suggest that the gain-of-function of miR-277 in the GMR>hpo background rescues Hpo-mediated cell death. Our working model suggests that miR-277 regulates cell growth by modulating Hippo pathway.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project

Primary Advisor

Amit Singh

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Good Health and Well-Being

Understanding the role of miRNA-277 in the growth and survival