Cusumano P, Biscontin A, Sandrelli F, Mazzotta GM, Tregnago C, De Pittà C, Costa R.
Single microRNAs are usually associated with hundreds of putative target genes that can influence multiple phenotypic traits in Drosophila, ranging from development to behaviour. We investigated the function of Drosophila miR-210 in circadian behaviour by misexpressing it within circadian clock cells. Manipulation of miR-210 expression levels in the PDF (pigment dispersing factor) positive neurons affected the phase of locomotor activity, under both light-dark conditions and constant darkness. PER cyclical expression was not affected in clock neurons, however, when miR-210 was up-regulated, a dramatic alteration in the morphology of PDF ventral lateral neuron (LNv) arborisations was observed. The effect of miR-210 in shaping neuronal projections was confirmed in vitro, using a Drosophila neuronal cell line. A transcriptomic analysis revealed that miR-210 overexpression affects the expression of several genes belonging to pathways related to circadian processes, neuronal development, GTPases signal transduction and photoreception. Collectively, these data reveal the role of miR-210 in modulating circadian outputs in flies and guiding/remodelling PDF positive LNv arborisations and indicate that miR-210 may have pleiotropic effects on the clock, light perception and neuronal development.