ABSTRACT: PIWI-interacting RNAs(piRNAs) are required for transposon repression, de novo DNA methylation, epigenetic and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in the germline. A mist of piRNA biogenesis is the identification of the 3’-5’ exnuclease that trimms the 3’ end of piRNA intermediates to form mature piRNAs in mammals. Here, we show that mice deficient for PNLDC1, an evolutionarily conserved 3’-5’ exonuclease, accumulate 3’ untrimmed piRNA intermediates of 30~40nt. These 3’ extended piRNA intermediates associate with PIWI proteins, but are impaired for function. Male Pnldc1 knockout mice display LINE1 derepression and are sterile owing to chimeric spermatogenetic arrest at spermatocyte and spermatid stages. Our findings illustrate the conserved role of mouse Pnldc1 in 3’ trimming during piRNA maturation. However, since Pnldc1 knockout in mice creates phenotypes distinct from its reported interactive partner, Tdrkh, the panorama of participants in mammalian piRNA 3’ end maturation may be more complex than previously speculated.
Project description:PIWI-interacting RNAs(piRNAs) are required for transposon repression, de novo DNA methylation, epigenetic and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in the germline. A mist of piRNA biogenesis is the identification of the 3’-5’ exnuclease that trimms the 3’ end of piRNA intermediates to form mature piRNAs in mammals. Here, we show that mice deficient for PNLDC1, an evolutionarily conserved 3’-5’ exonuclease, accumulate 3’ untrimmed piRNA intermediates of 30~40nt. These 3’ extended piRNA intermediates associate with PIWI proteins, but are impaired for function. Male Pnldc1 knockout mice display LINE1 derepression and are sterile owing to chimeric spermatogenetic arrest at spermatocyte and spermatid stages. Our findings illustrate the conserved role of mouse Pnldc1 in 3’ trimming during piRNA maturation. However, since Pnldc1 knockout in mice creates phenotypes distinct from its reported interactive partner, Tdrkh, the panorama of participants in mammalian piRNA 3’ end maturation may be more complex than previously speculated.
Project description:PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) play a crucial role in transposon silencing in animal germ cells. In piRNA biogenesis, single-stranded piRNA intermediates are loaded into PIWI-clade proteins and cleaved by Zucchini/MitoPLD, yielding precursor piRNAs (pre-piRNAs). Pre-piRNAs that are longer than the mature piRNA length are then trimmed at their 3' ends. Although recent studies implicated the Tudor domain protein Papi/Tdrkh in pre-piRNA trimming, the identity of Trimmer and its relationship with Papi/Tdrkh remain unknown. Here, we identified PNLDC1, an uncharacterized 3'-5' exonuclease, as Trimmer in silkworms. Trimmer is enriched in the mitochondrial fraction and binds to Papi/Tdrkh. Depletion of Trimmer and Papi/Tdrkh additively inhibits trimming, causing accumulation of ?35-40-nt pre-piRNAs that are impaired for target cleavage and prone to degradation. Our results highlight the cooperative action of Trimmer and Papi/Tdrkh in piRNA maturation.
Project description:Piwi-interacting RNAs are small regulatory RNAs with key roles in transposon silencing and regulation of gametogenesis. The production of mature piwi-interacting RNAs requires a critical step of trimming piwi-interacting RNA intermediates to achieve optimally sized piwi-interacting RNAs. The poly(A)-specific ribonuclease family deadenylase PNLDC1 is implicated in piwi-interacting RNA trimming in silkworms. The physiological function of PNLDC1 in mammals remains unknown. Using Pnldc1-deficient mice, here we show that PNLDC1 is required for piwi-interacting RNA biogenesis, transposon silencing, and spermatogenesis. Pnldc1 mutation in mice inhibits piwi-interacting RNA trimming and causes accumulation of untrimmed piwi-interacting RNA intermediates with 3' end extension, leading to severe reduction of mature piwi-interacting RNAs in the testis. Pnldc1 mutant mice exhibit disrupted LINE1 retrotransposon silencing and defect in spermiogenesis. Together, these results define PNLDC1 as a mammalian piwi-interacting RNA biogenesis factor that protects the germline genome and ensures normal sperm production in mice.piRNAs are regulatory RNAs that play a critical role in transposon silencing and gametogenesis. Here, the authors provide evidence that mammalian PNLDC1 is a regulator of piRNA biogenesis, transposon silencing and spermatogenesis, protecting the germline genome in mice.
Project description:PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are germ cell-specific small RNAs essential for retrotransposon gene silencing and male germ cell development. In piRNA biogenesis, the endonuclease MitoPLD/Zucchini cleaves long, single-stranded RNAs to generate 5' termini of precursor piRNAs (pre-piRNAs) that are consecutively loaded into PIWI-family proteins. Subsequently, these pre-piRNAs are trimmed at their 3'-end by an exonuclease called Trimmer. Recently, poly(A)-specific ribonuclease-like domain-containing 1 (PNLDC1) was identified as the pre-piRNA Trimmer in silkworms. However, the function of PNLDC1 in other species remains unknown. Here, we generate Pnldc1 mutant mice and analyze small RNAs in their testes. Our results demonstrate that mouse PNLDC1 functions in the trimming of both embryonic and post-natal pre-piRNAs. In addition, piRNA trimming defects in embryonic and post-natal testes cause impaired DNA methylation and reduced MIWI expression, respectively. Phenotypically, both meiotic and post-meiotic arrests are evident in the same individual Pnldc1 mutant mouse. The former and latter phenotypes are similar to those of MILI and MIWI mutant mice, respectively. Thus, PNLDC1-mediated piRNA trimming is indispensable for the function of piRNAs throughout mouse spermatogenesis.
Project description:Piwi proteins and Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) repress transposition, regulate translation, and guide epigenetic programming in the germline. Here, we show that an evolutionarily conserved Tudor and KH domain-containing protein, Tdrkh (a.k.a. Tdrd2), is required for spermatogenesis and involved in piRNA biogenesis. Tdrkh partners with Miwi and Miwi2 via symmetrically dimethylated arginine residues in Miwi and Miwi2. Tdrkh is a mitochondrial protein often juxtaposed to pi-bodies and piP-bodies and is required for Tdrd1 cytoplasmic localization and Miwi2 nuclear localization. Tdrkh mutants display meiotic arrest at the zygotene stage, attenuate methylation of Line1 DNA, and upregulate Line1 RNA and protein, without inducing apoptosis. Furthermore, Tdrkh mutants have severely reduced levels of mature piRNAs but accumulate a distinct population of 1'U-containing, 2'O-methylated 31-37?nt RNAs that largely complement the missing mature piRNAs. Our results demonstrate that the primary piRNA biogenesis pathway involves 3'?5' processing of 31-37?nt intermediates and that Tdrkh promotes this final step of piRNA biogenesis but not the ping-pong cycle. These results shed light on mechanisms underlying primary piRNA biogenesis, an area in which information is conspicuously absent.
Project description:PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) engage PIWI proteins to silence transposons and promote germ cell development in animals. In diverse species, piRNA biogenesis occurs near the mitochondrial surface, and involves mitochondrial membrane-anchored factors. In mice, two cytoplasmic PIWI proteins, MIWI and MILI, receive processed pachytene piRNAs at intermitochodrial cement (IMC). However, how MIWI and MILI are initially recruited to the IMC to engage multiple steps of piRNA processing is unclear. Here, we show that mitochondria-anchored TDRKH controls multiple steps of pachytene piRNA biogenesis in mice. TDRKH specifically recruits MIWI, but not MILI, to engage the piRNA pathway. It is required for the production of the entire MIWI-bound piRNA population and enables trimming of MILI-bound piRNAs. The failure to recruit MIWI to the IMC with TDRKH deficiency results in loss of MIWI in the chromatoid body, leading to spermiogenic arrest and piRNA-independent retrotransposon LINE1 de-repression in round spermatids. Our findings identify a mitochondrial surface-based scaffolding mechanism separating the entry and actions of two critical PIWI proteins in the same piRNA pathway to drive piRNA biogenesis and germ cell development.
Project description:Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) engage Piwi proteins to suppress transposons and are essential for fertility in diverse organisms. An interesting feature of piRNAs is that, while piRNA lengths are stereotypical within a species, they can differ widely between species. For example, piRNAs are mainly 29 and 30 nucleotides in humans, 24 to 30 nucleotides in D. melanogaster, and uniformly 21 nucleotides in C. elegans. However, how piRNA length is determined and whether length impacts function remains unknown. Here, we show that C. elegans deficient for PARN-1, a conserved RNase, accumulate untrimmed piRNAs with 3' extensions. Surprisingly, these longer piRNAs are stable and associate with the Piwi protein PRG-1 but fail to robustly recruit downstream silencing factors. Our findings identify PARN-1 as a key regulator of piRNA length in C. elegans and suggest that length is regulated to promote efficient transcriptome surveillance.
Project description:Pachytene piRNAs are a class of Piwi-interacting small RNAs abundant in spermatids of the adult mouse testis. They are processed from piRNA primary transcripts by a poorly understood mechanism and, unlike fetal transposon-derived piRNAs, lack complementary targets in the spermatid transcriptome. We report that immunopurified complexes of a conserved piRNA pathway protein Maelstrom (MAEL) are enriched in MIWI (Piwi partner of pachytene piRNAs), Tudor-domain proteins and processing intermediates of pachytene piRNA primary transcripts. We provide evidence of functional significance of these complexes in Mael129 knockout mice that exhibit spermiogenic arrest with acrosome and flagellum malformation. Mael129-null mutant testes possess low levels of piRNAs derived from MAEL-associated piRNA precursors and exhibit reduced translation of numerous spermiogenic mRNAs including those encoding acrosome and flagellum proteins. These translation defects in haploid round spermatids are likely indirect, as neither MAEL nor piRNA precursors associate with polyribosomes, and they may arise from an imbalance between pachytene piRNAs and MIWI.
Project description:PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are regarded as the guardians of the genome because they tackle genome stability-threatening transposable elements in the germline. Recently, piRNAs were also reported in other types of cells, including mouse brain, malignant and non-malignant somatic tissues, and human plasma. This suggests that piRNA function might be broader than previously expected. Here, we show that different piRNA databases contain a subset of sequences that correspond to piRNA-sized fragments of ncRNAs (rRNAs, tRNAs, YRNAs, snRNAs, and snoRNAs) and intermediates of miRNA biogenesis. We discuss that the biogenesis of these sequences is probably independent of the PIWI pathway, and can therefore be considered contaminants in piRNA databases. Although a minority of annotated piRNAs falls in this category, they account for the vast majority of piRNA expression in somatic non-gonadal tissues. Since ncRNA fragments are ubiquitous and abundant, their confusion with piRNAs strongly impacts the estimation of piRNA expression outside of mammalian gonads.
Project description:PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are germline-enriched small RNAs that control transposons to maintain genome integrity1,2,3. To achieve this, piRNAs bind PIWI proteins upon being processed from piRNA precursors1,2,3. Bioinformatic studies of piRNA biogenesis in Drosophila showed that the piRNA 5′ end is formed by PIWI-Slicer or Zucchini (Zuc) endonucleolytic cleavage, while the 3′ end is formed by Zuc or Nibbler (Nbr) 3′-to-5′ exonucleolytic activity4,5,6. piRNA 3′-end formation in Bombyx was shown to be mediated by PNLDC1/Trimmer (Trim) 3′-to-5′ exonuclease7, while piRNA intermediates are bound with PIWI anchored onto mitochondrial protein PAPI8. However, the requirement for Zuc and Nbr in piRNA biogenesis in Bombyx has not been elucidated. Here, we applied biochemical approaches to understand their involvement in piRNA biogenesis and revealed that Zuc endonuclease, but not Trim and Nbr exonucleases, plays a crucial role in Bombyx piRNA 3′-end formation. Loss of Zuc had little effect on the levels of Trim and Nbr, but led to the aberrant accumulation of piRNA intermediates within the PAPI complex, which were processed to mature piRNAs by recombinant Zuc. Zuc copurified with PAPI, and PAPI exerted RNA-binding activity only when Siwi coexisted with it and PAPI was phosphorylated, suggesting that complex assembly proceeds via a hierarchical process. Bioinformatic analyses of piRNA intermediates within the PAPI complex revealed that both the 5′ and the 3′ ends showed the hallmark of PIWI-Slicer, yet no phasing pattern was observed in mature piRNAs. These findings strongly support the notion that, in Bombyx piRNA, the 5′ end is formed by PIWI-Slicer, but independently of Zuc, while the 3′ end is formed by Zuc endonuclease. The Bombyx piRNA biogenesis is simpler than that of Drosophila, which is reasonable considering that Bombyx has no transcriptional silencing machinery relying on phased piRNAs. Overall design: Two RIP-seq libraries: RIP libraries were prepared from RNA associated with PAPI immunoprecipitates (with size selection at 65-100nt). Six smRNA-seq libraries: small RNA libraries were prepared from small RNA associated with Flag-Siwi and Flag-Ago3 immunoprecipitates (with size selection at 23-35nt).