The importance of discs large homolog 5 and microRNA-34 expression to the development of the mosquito Aedes aegypti

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Carroll, Lara
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Understanding how the expression of particular genes and regulation of genes affects development in different organisms is key to advancing our knowledge in developmental biology. The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process is commonly observed during the growth and development of various animal tissues. One gene involved in EMT regulation and directly related to development in humans is discs large homolog 5 (dlg5). If the role of this gene is conserved across species, it opens many medical application possibilities to help treat a multitude of medical issues, such as cancer. microRNAs are short, single-stranded non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression by binding to the 3’UTR of complementary target mRNAs. microRNA-34 (miR-34) is a microRNA of interest with relation to dlg5 as it is predicted to bind with dlg transcripts. miR-34 has also shown clinical potential in the past with regulating cell proliferation. This study looks at the dlg5 gene and miR-34 in the mosquito Aedes aegypti to see if the expression of this gene and microRNA is evolutionarily conserved to that of Drosophila melanogaster. A developmental expression qRT-PCR analysis, analyzing the relative dlg and miR-34 transcript levels in different temporal stages of A. aegypti development, was conducted to compare the relative transcript levels of A. aegypti throughout development. Then, a dlgdsRNA RNAi-mediated knockdown by bacterial feeding was performed to see if knocking down dlg has an effect on development. The results of the qRT-PCR analysis and RNAi experiment were not significant enough to come to a justified conclusion. Therefore, further testing is required to produce meaningful conclusions regarding the developmental expression of dlg and miR-34.
Aedes aegypti, mosquito, gene expression, developmental biology, discs large homolog 5, dlg5, microRNA