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Mol Cell. 2009 Oct 23;36(2):231-44. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2009.09.020. Epub 2009 Oct 1.

Distinct argonaute-mediated 22G-RNA pathways direct genome surveillance in the C. elegans germline.

Author information

  • 1Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01606, USA.

Abstract

Endogenous small RNAs (endo-siRNAs) interact with Argonaute (AGO) proteins to mediate sequence-specific regulation of diverse biological processes. Here, we combine deep-sequencing and genetic approaches to explore the biogenesis and function of endo-siRNAs in C. elegans. We describe conditional alleles of the Dicer-related helicase, drh-3, that abrogate both RNA interference and the biogenesis of endo-siRNAs, called 22G-RNAs. DRH-3 is a core component of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) complexes essential for several distinct 22G-RNA systems. We show that, in the germline, one system is dependent on worm-specific AGOs, including WAGO-1, which localizes to germline nuage structures called P granules. WAGO-1 silences certain genes, transposons, pseudogenes, and cryptic loci. Finally, we demonstrate that components of the nonsense-mediated decay pathway function in at least one WAGO-mediated surveillance pathway. These findings broaden our understanding of the biogenesis and diversity of 22G-RNAs and suggest additional regulatory functions for small RNAs.

PMID:
19800275
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2776052
Free PMC Article

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