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Mol Cell. 2007 Jun 8;26(5):603-9.

The coming of age for Piwi proteins.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Piwi proteins, a subfamily of Argonaute (Ago) proteins, have recently been shown to bind endogenous small RNAs. However, differences between Ago proteins (which bind microRNAs and small interfering RNAs) and Piwi proteins and Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) suggest novel functions for Piwi proteins. Here, we highlight the recent progress in understanding Piwi function and the implications for germline and stem cell development.

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