Dataset Information


C. elegans piRNAs mediate the genome-wide surveillance of germline transcripts

ABSTRACT: Piwi Argonautes and Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) mediate genome defense by targeting transposons. However, many piRNA species lack obvious sequence complementarity to transposons or other loci. For example, only one C. elegans transposon is a known piRNA target. Here we show that, in mutants lacking the Piwi Argonaute PRG-1 and associated piRNAs (21U-RNAs), many silent loci in the germline exhibit increased levels of mRNA expression and depletion of an amplified RNAdependent RNA polymerase (RdRP)-derived species of small RNA termed 22G-RNAs. Sequences depleted of 22G-RNAs are enriched nearby potential target sites that base pair imperfectly but extensively to 21U-RNAs. We show that PRG-1 is required to initiate, but not to maintain, silencing of transgenes engineered to contain complementarity to endogenous 21U-RNAs. Our findings support a model in which C. elegans piRNAs utilize their enormous repertoire of targeting capacity to scan the germline transcriptome for foreign sequences, while endogenous germline-expressed genes are actively protected from piRNA-induced silencing. Examine small RNA population changes in prg-1 and rescued strains

ORGANISM(S): Caenorhabditis elegans  

SUBMITTER: Heng-Chi Lee   Weifeng Gu 

PROVIDER: E-GEOD-38723 | ArrayExpress | 2012-09-01



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