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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Mar 21;367(4):755-60. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.01.013. Epub 2008 Jan 10.

Developmentally synchronized expression of two Bombyx mori Piwi subfamily genes, SIWI and BmAGO3 in germ-line cells.

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  • 1Department of Agricultural and Environmental Biology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Science, University of Tokyo, Yayoi 1-1-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan.


The Piwi subfamily proteins and their partner, Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), play an important roles in germ-line development and silencing of selfish DNA elements. To date, however, the developmental expression profiles of the Piwi subfamily genes are poorly known. In this study, we examined the expression profiles of two Bombyx mori Piwi subfamily genes, silkworm Piwi (SIWI) and BmAGO3, which are possible partners of Bombyx piRNA-like small RNAs we recently identified in B. mori germ-line cells. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analyses demonstrated that these two genes were abundantly expressed in the larval testis, pupal ovary, and adult eggs, suggesting that they might be involved in spermatogenesis and oogenesis in Bombyx. Notably, developmental expression patterns of SIWI and BmAGO3 were remarkably similar. Collectively, our results suggest that SIWI and BmAGO3 may cooperate in an unknown pathway during the development of B. mori germ-line cells.

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