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A novel class of small RNAs in mouse spermatogenic cells.


ABSTRACT: Small noncoding RNAs, including small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and micro RNAs (miRNAs) of approximately 21 nucleotides (nt) in length, have emerged as potent regulators of gene expression at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels in diverse organisms. Here we report the identification of a novel class of small RNAs in the mouse male germline termed piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs). piRNAs are approximately 30 nt in length. They are expressed during spermatogenesis, mostly in spermatids. piRNAs are associated with MIWI, a spermatogenesis-specific PIWI subfamily member of the Argonaute protein family, and depend on MIWI for their biogenesis and/or stability. Furthermore, a subpopulation of piRNAs are associated with polysomes, suggesting their potential role in translational regulation.

SUBMITTER: Grivna ST 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1522066 | BioStudies | 2006-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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