MicroRNA-92a regulates the expression of aphid bacteriocyte-specific secreted protein 1

Honglin Feng, Joun S. Park, R. Grace Zhai, Alexandra C.C. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: Aphids harbor a nutritional obligate endosymbiont in specialized cells called bacteriocytes, which aggregate to form an organ known as the bacteriome. Aphid bacteriomes display distinct gene expression profiles that facilitate the symbiotic relationship. Currently, the mechanisms that regulate these patterns of gene expression are unknown. Recently using computational pipelines, we identified miRNAs that are conserved in expression in the bacteriomes of two aphid species and proposed that they function as important regulators of bacteriocyte gene expression. Here using a dual luciferase assay in mouse NIH/3T3 cell culture, we aimed to experimentally validate the computationally predicted interaction between Myzus persicae miR-92a and the predicted target region of M. persicae bacteriocyte-specific secreted protein 1 (SP1) mRNA. Results: In the dual luciferase assay, miR-92a interacted with the SP1 target region resulting in a significant downregulation of the luciferase signal. Our results demonstrate that miR-92a interacts with SP1 to alter expression in a heterologous expression system, thereby supporting our earlier assertion that miRNAs are regulators of the aphid/Buchnera symbiotic interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number638
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 30 2019


  • Aphid
  • Bacteriocyte
  • Dual luciferase assay
  • SP1
  • Symbiosis
  • miRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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