Integrin restriction by miR-34 protects germline progenitors from cell death during aging

Noam Perry, Racheli Braun, Aya Ben-Hamo-Arad, Diana Kanaan, Tal Arad, Lilach Porat-Kuperstein, Toledano Hila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During aging, regenerative tissues must dynamically balance the two opposing processes of proliferation and cell death. While many microRNAs are differentially expressed during aging, their roles as dynamic regulators of tissue regeneration have yet to be described. We show that in the highly regenerative Drosophila testis, miR-34 levels are significantly elevated during aging. miR-34 modulates germ cell death and protects the progenitor germ cells from accelerated aging. However, miR-34 is not expressed in the progenitors themselves but rather in neighboring cyst cells that kill the progenitors. Transcriptomics followed by functional analysis revealed that during aging, miR-34 modifies integrin signaling by limiting the levels of the heterodimeric integrin receptor αPS2 and βPS subunits. In addition, we found that in cyst cells, this heterodimer is essential for inducing phagoptosis and degradation of the progenitor germ cells. Together, these data suggest that the miR-34—integrin signaling axis acts as a sensor of progenitor germ cell death to extend progenitor functionality during aging.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging Cell
Early online date7 Mar 2024
StateE-pub ahead of print - 7 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • aging
  • drosophila
  • integrin
  • micro-RNAs
  • miR-34
  • phagoptosis
  • spermatogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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