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RNA. 2009 Oct;15(10):1886-95. doi: 10.1261/rna.1611309. Epub 2009 Jul 27.

Processing of Drosophila endo-siRNAs depends on a specific Loquacious isoform.

Author information

1
Harvard Medical School, Department of Genetics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

Drosophila melanogaster expresses three classes of small RNAs, which are classified according to their mechanisms of biogenesis. MicroRNAs are approximately 22-23 nucleotides (nt), ubiquitously expressed small RNAs that are sequentially processed from hairpin-like precursors by Drosha/Pasha and Dcr-1/Loquacious complexes. MicroRNAs usually associate with AGO1 and regulate the expression of protein-coding genes. Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) of approximately 24-28 nt associate with Piwi-family proteins and can arise from single-stranded precursors. piRNAs function in transposon silencing and are mainly restricted to gonadal tissues. Endo-siRNAs are found in both germline and somatic tissues. These approximately 21-nt RNAs are produced by a distinct Dicer, Dcr-2, and do not depend on Drosha/Pasha complexes. They predominantly bind to AGO2 and target both mobile elements and protein-coding genes. Surprisingly, a subset of endo-siRNAs strongly depend for their production on the dsRNA-binding protein Loquacious (Loqs), thought generally to be a partner for Dcr-1 and a cofactor for miRNA biogenesis. Endo-siRNA production depends on a specific Loqs isoform, Loqs-PD, which is distinct from the one, Loqs-PB, required for the production of microRNAs. Paralleling their roles in the biogenesis of distinct small RNA classes, Loqs-PD and Loqs-PB bind to different Dicer proteins, with Dcr-1/Loqs-PB complexes and Dcr-2/Loqs-PD complexes driving microRNA and endo-siRNA biogenesis, respectively.

PMID:
19635780
PMCID:
PMC2743050
DOI:
10.1261/rna.1611309
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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