MicroRNA-Directed siRNA Biogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans
ABSTRACT: C.elegans small RNAs from HA::ALG-1, HA::ALG-2 and HA::RDE-1 IP and rde-1 mutants Overall design: Small RNAs were cloned from transgenic or mutant C. elegans adults. Sequencing was performed using 454 and Illumina platforms.
Project description:C.elegans small RNAs from HA::ALG-1, HA::ALG-2 and HA::RDE-1 IP and rde-1 mutants Small RNAs were cloned from transgenic or mutant C. elegans adults. Sequencing was performed using 454 and Illumina platforms.
Project description:RNA interference (RNAi) is a post-transcriptional silencing process, triggered by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), leading to the destabilization of homologous mRNAs. A distinction has been made between endogenous RNAi-related pathways and the exogenous RNAi pathway, the latter being essential for the experimental use of RNAi. Previous studies have shown that, in Caenorhabditis elegans, a complex containing the enzymes Dicer and the Argonaute RDE-1 process dsRNA. Dicer is responsible for cleaving dsRNA into short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) while RDE-1 acts as the siRNA acceptor. RDE-1 then guides a multi-protein complex to homologous targets to trigger mRNA destabilization. However, endogenous role(s) for RDE-1, if any, have remained unexplored. We here show that RDE-1 functions as a scavenger protein, taking up small RNA molecules from many different sources, including the microRNA (miRNA) pathway. This is in striking contrast to Argonaute proteins functioning directly in the miRNA pathway, ALG-1 and ALG-2: these proteins exclusively bind miRNAs. While playing no significant role in the biogenesis of the main pool of miRNAs, RDE-1 binds endogenous miRNAs and triggers RdRP activity on at least one perfectly matching, endogenous miRNA target. The resulting secondary siRNAs are taken up by a set of Argonaute proteins known to act as siRNA acceptors in exogenous RNAi, resulting in strong mRNA destabilization. Our results show that RDE-1 in an endogenous setting is actively screening the transcriptome using many different small RNAs, including miRNAs, as a guide, with implications for the evolution of transcripts with a potential to be recognized by Dicer.
Project description:The methylation of histone H3 at lysine 79 is a feature of open chromatin. It is deposited by the conserved histone methyltransferase DOT1. Recently, DOT1 localization and H3K79 methylation (H3K79me) have been correlated with enhancers in C. elegans and mammalian cells. Since earlier research implicated H3K79me in preventing heterochromatin formation both in yeast and leukemic cells, we sought to inquire whether a H3K79me deficiency would lead to higher levels of heterochromatic histone modifications, specifically H3K9me2, at developmental enhancers in C. elegans. Therefore, we used H3K9me2 ChIP-seq to compare its abundance in control and dot-1.1 loss-of-function mutant worms, as well as in rde-4; dot-1.1 and rde-1; dot-1.1 double mutants. The rde-1 and rde-4 genes are components of the RNAi pathway in C. elegans, and RNAi is known to initiate H3K9 methylation in many organisms, including C. elegans. We have previously shown that dot-1.1(-) lethality is rescued by rde-1 and rde-4 loss-of-function. Here we found that H3K9me2 was elevated in enhancer, but not promoter, regions bound by the DOT-1.1/ZFP-1 complex in dot-1.1(-) worms. We also found increased H3K9me2 at genes targeted by the ALG-3/4-dependent small RNAs and repeat regions. Our results suggest that ectopic H3K9me2 in dot-1.1(-) could, in some cases, be induced by small RNAs.
Project description:In Caenorhabditis elegans, a vast number of endogenous short RNAs corresponding to thousands of genes have been discovered recently. This finding suggests that these short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) may contribute to regulation of many developmental and other signaling pathways in addition to silencing viruses and transposons. Here, we present a microarray analysis of gene expression in RNA interference (RNAi)-related mutants rde-4, zfp-1, and alg-1 and the retinoblastoma (Rb) mutant lin-35. We found that a component of Dicer complex RDE-4 and a chromatin-related zinc finger protein ZFP-1, not implicated in endogenous RNAi, regulate overlapping sets of genes. Notably, genes a) up-regulated in the rde-4 and zfp-1 mutants and b) up-regulated in the lin-35(Rb) mutant, but not the down-regulated genes are highly represented in the set of genes with corresponding endogenous siRNAs (endo-siRNAs). Our study suggests that endogenous siRNAs cooperate with chromatin factors, either C. elegans ortholog of acute lymphoblastic leukemia-1 (ALL-1)-fused gene from chromosome 10 (AF10), ZFP-1, or tumor suppressor Rb, to regulate overlapping sets of genes and predicts a large role for RNAi-based chromatin silencing in control of gene expression in C. elegans.
Project description:In Caenorhabditis elegans, the activity of transposable elements is repressed in the germline. One of the mechanisms involved in this repression is RNA interference (RNAi), a process in which dsRNA targets cleavage of mRNAs in a sequence-specific manner. The first gene found to be involved in RNAi and transposon silencing in C.elegans is mut-7, a gene encoding a putative exoribonuclease. Here, we show that the MUT-7 protein resides in complexes of approximately 250 kDa in the nucleus and in the cytosol. In addition, we find that upon triggering of RNAi the cytosolic MUT-7 complex increases in size. This increase is independent of the presence of target RNA, but does depend on the presence of RDE-1 and RDE-4, two proteins involved in small interfering RNA (siRNA) production. Finally, using a yeast two-hybrid screen, we identified RDE-2/MUT-8 as one of the other components of this complex. This protein is encoded by the rde-2/mut-8 locus, previously implicated in RNAi and transposon silencing. Using genetic complementation analysis, we show that the interaction between these two proteins is required for efficient RNAi in vivo. Together these data support a role for the MUT-7/RDE-2 complex downstream of siRNA formation, but upstream of siRNA mediated target RNA recognition, possibly indicating a role in the siRNA amplification step.
Project description:In nematodes, plants, and fungi, RNAi is remarkably potent and persistent due to the amplification of initial silencing signals by RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRPs). In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), the interaction between the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) loaded with primary small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and the target messenger RNA (mRNA) leads to the recruitment of RdRPs and synthesis of secondary siRNAs using the target mRNA as the template. The mechanism and genetic requirements for secondary siRNA accumulation are not well understood.From a forward genetic screen for C. elegans genes required for RNAi, we identified rde-10, and through proteomic analysis of RDE-10-interacting proteins, we identified a protein complex containing the new RNAi factor RDE-11, the known RNAi factors RSD-2 and ERGO-1, and other candidate RNAi factors. The RNAi defective genes rde-10 and rde-11 encode a novel protein and a RING-type zinc finger domain protein, respectively. Mutations in rde-10 and rde-11 genes cause dosage-sensitive RNAi deficiencies: these mutants are resistant to low dosage but sensitive to high dosage of double-stranded RNAs. We assessed the roles of rde-10, rde-11, and other dosage-sensitive RNAi-defective genes rsd-2, rsd-6, and haf-6 in both exogenous and endogenous small RNA pathways using high-throughput sequencing and qRT-PCR. These genes are required for the accumulation of secondary siRNAs in both exogenous and endogenous RNAi pathways.The RDE-10/RDE-11 complex is essential for the amplification of RNAi in C. elegans by promoting secondary siRNA accumulation.
Project description:Caenorhabditis elegans contains 25 Argonautes, of which, ALG-1 and ALG-2 are known to primarily interact with miRNAs. ALG-5 belongs to the AGO subfamily of Argonautes that includes ALG-1 and ALG-2, but its role in small RNA pathways is unknown. We analyzed by high-throughput sequencing the small RNAs associated with ALG-5, ALG-1 and ALG-2, as well as changes in mRNA expression in alg-5, alg-1 and alg-2 mutants. We show that ALG-5 defines a distinct branch of the miRNA pathway affecting the expression of genes involved in immunity, defense, and development. In contrast to ALG-1 and ALG-2, which associate with most miRNAs and have general roles throughout development, ALG-5 interacts with only a small subset of miRNAs and is specifically expressed in the germline where it localizes alongside the piRNA and siRNA machinery at P granules. alg-5 is required for optimal fertility and mutations in alg-5 lead to a precocious transition from spermatogenesis to oogenesis. Our results provide a near-comprehensive analysis of miRNA-Argonaute interactions in C. elegans and reveal a new role for miRNAs in the germline.
Project description:Gametogenesis is a thermosensitive process in numerous metazoans, ranging from worms to man. In Caenorhabditis elegans, a variety of RNA-binding proteins that associate with germ-line nuage (P granules), including the Piwi-clade argonaute PRG-1, have been implicated in maintaining fertility at elevated temperature. Here we describe the role of two AGO-class paralogs, alg-3 (T22B3.2) and alg-4 (ZK757.3), in promoting thermotolerant male fertility. A rescuing GFP::alg-3 transgene is localized to P granules beginning at the late pachytene stage of male gametogenesis. alg-3/4 double mutants lack a subgroup of small RNAs, the 26G-RNAs which target and appear to down-regulate numerous spermatogenesis-expressed mRNAs. These findings add to a growing number of AGO pathways required for thermotolerant fertility in C. elegans and support a model in which AGOs and their small RNA cofactors function to promote robustness in gene-expression networks.
Project description:Caenorhabditis elegans contains twenty-five Argonautes, of which, only ALG-1 and ALG-2 are known to interact with miRNAs. ALG-5 belongs to the AGO subfamily of Argonautes that includes ALG-1 and ALG-2, but its role in small RNA pathways is unknown. We analyzed by high-throughput sequencing the small RNAs associated with ALG-5, ALG-1, and ALG-2, as well as changes in mRNA expression in alg-5, alg-1, and alg-2 mutants. Overall design: We analyzed by high-throughput sequencing miRNA-Argonaute interactions in C. elegans and their impact on mRNA levels. The data in this series includes mRNA sequencing of loss-of-function mutants, small RNA sequencing of loss-of-function mutants, and sequencing of small RNAs that co-immunoprecipitate with each Argonaute protein.
Project description:Investigated the specific miRNAs that are assocaited with ALG-1 and ALG-2 in adult (D5) C. elegans. ALG-1 and ALG-2 were IP-ed from D5 collected C.elegans, RNA was isolated and used for small RNA sequencing. Two biological replicates were used. Overall design: Examined the miRNAs associated with ALG-1 and ALG-2 in D5 by immunoprecipitation and small RNA sequencing