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In insects, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) limits systemic growth by triggering developmental transitions. Previous studies have shown that 20E-induced let-7 exhibits crosstalk with the cell cycle. Here, we examined the underlying molecular mechanisms and physiological functions of 20E-induced let-7 in the fat body, an organ for energy storage and nutrient mobilization which plays a critical role in the larval growth. First, the overexpression of let-7 decreased the body size and led to the reduction of both nucleolus and cell sizes in the larval fat body. In contrast, the overexpression of let-7-Sponge increased the nucleolus and cell sizes. Moreover, we found that cdc7, encoding a conserved protein kinase that controls the endocycle, is a target of let-7. Notably, the mutation of cdc7 in the fat body resulted in growth defects. Overall, our findings revealed a novel role of let-7 in the control of endoreduplication-related growth during larval-prepupal transition in Drosophila. © 2020 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Dan-Yan Huang, Xiao-Ling Xia, Run Huang, Sheng Li, Dong-Wei Yuan, Su-Ning Liu. The steroid-induced microRNA let-7 regulates developmental growth by targeting cdc7 in the Drosophila fat body. Insect science. 2021 Dec;28(6):1621-1632

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PMID: 33089948

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