PLoS Pathogens (Aug 2021)

Exosomal miR-224 contributes to hemolymph microbiota homeostasis during bacterial infection in crustacean.

  • Yi Gong,
  • Xiaoyuan Wei,
  • Wanwei Sun,
  • Xin Ren,
  • Jiao Chen,
  • Jude Juventus Aweya,
  • Hongyu Ma,
  • Kok-Gan Chan,
  • Yueling Zhang,
  • Shengkang Li

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 17, no. 8
p. e1009837


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It is well known that exosomes could serve as anti-microbial immune factors in animals. However, despite growing evidences have shown that the homeostasis of the hemolymph microbiota was vital for immune regulation in crustaceans, the relationship between exosomes and hemolymph microbiota homeostasis during pathogenic bacteria infection has not been addressed. Here, we reported that exosomes released from Vibrio parahaemolyticus-infected mud crabs (Scylla paramamosain) could help to maintain the homeostasis of hemolymph microbiota and have a protective effect on the mortality of the host during the infection process. We further confirmed that miR-224 was densely packaged in these exosomes, resulting in the suppression of HSP70 and disruption of the HSP70-TRAF6 complex, then the released TRAF6 further interacted with Ecsit to regulate the production of mitochondrial ROS (mROS) and the expression of Anti-lipopolysaccharide factors (ALFs) in recipient hemocytes, which eventually affected hemolymph microbiota homeostasis in response to the pathogenic bacteria infection in mud crab. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first document that reports the role of exosome in the hemolymph microbiota homeostasis modulation during pathogen infection, which reveals the crosstalk between exosomal miRNAs and innate immune response in crustaceans.