DOI: 10.1111/1744-7917.13318 ISSN: 1672-9609

Bmo‐miR‐3351 modulates glutathione content and inhibits BmNPV proliferation by targeting BmGSTe6 in Bombyx mori

Hui‐Hua Cao, Wei‐Wei Kong, Bing Ling, Zhi‐Yi Wang, Ying Zhang, Zhe‐Xiao Guo, Shi‐Huo Liu, Jia‐Ping Xu
  • Insect Science
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non‐coding RNAs that play pivotal roles in the host response to invading pathogens. Among these pathogens, Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) is one of the main causes of substantial economic losses in sericulture, and there are relatively few studies on the specific functions of miRNAs in the B. mori–BmNPV interaction. Therefore, we conducted transcriptome sequencing to identify differentially expressed (DE) messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and miRNAs in the midgut of 2 B. mori strains (BmNPV‐susceptible strain P50 and BmNPV‐resistant strain A35) after BmNPV infection. Through correlation analysis of the miRNA and mRNA data, we identified a comprehensive set of 21 miRNAs and 37 predicted target mRNAs. Notably, miR‐3351, which has high expression in A35, exhibited remarkable efficacy in suppressing BmNPV proliferation. Additionally, we confirmed that miR‐3351 binds to the 3′ untranslated region (3′ UTR) of B. mori glutathione S‐transferase epsilon 6 (BmGSTe6), resulting in its downregulation. Conversely, BmGSTe6 displayed an opposite expression pattern to miR‐3351, effectively promoting BmNPV proliferation. Notably, BmGSTe6 levels were positively correlated with glutathione S‐transferase activity, consequently influencing intracellular glutathione content in the infected samples. Furthermore, our investigation revealed the protective role of glutathione against BmNPV infection in BmN cells. In summary, miR‐3351 modulates glutathione content by downregulating BmGSTe6 to inhibit BmNPV proliferation in B. mori. Our findings enriched the research on the role of B. mori miRNAs in the defense against BmNPV infection, and suggests that the antiviral molecule, glutathione, offers a novel perspective on preventing viral infection in sericulture.

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