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    Increasing evidence suggests that miRNAs play important regulatory roles in the nervous system. However, the molecular mechanisms of how specific miRNAs affect neuronal development and functions remain less well understood. In the present study, we provide evidence that the conserved microRNA miR-210 regulates lipid metabolism and prevents neurodegeneration in the Drosophila retina. miR-210 is specifically expressed in the photoreceptor neurons and other sensory organs. Genetic deletion of miR-210 leads to lipid droplet accumulation and photoreceptor degeneration in the retina. These effects are associated with abnormal activation of the Drosophila sterol regulatory element-binding protein signaling. We further identify the acetyl-coenzyme A synthetase (ACS) as one functionally important target of miR-210 in this context. Reduction of ACS in the miR-210 mutant background suppresses the neurodegeneration defects, suggesting that miR-210 acts through regulation of the ACS transcript. Together, these results reveal an unexpected role of miR-210 in controlling lipid metabolism and neuronal functions.


    Jialan Lyu, Yuchen Chen, Weiwei Yang, Ting Guo, Xiao Xu, Yongmei Xi, Xiaohang Yang, Wanzhong Ge. The conserved microRNA miR-210 regulates lipid metabolism and photoreceptor maintenance in the Drosophila retina. Cell death and differentiation. 2021 Feb;28(2):764-779

    PMID: 32913227

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