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Mol Cell. 2011 Nov 18;44(4):572-84. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.10.011.

Heterotypic piRNA Ping-Pong requires qin, a protein with both E3 ligase and Tudor domains.

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1
Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.

Erratum in

  • Mol Cell. 2011 Dec 23;44(6):1005.

Abstract

piRNAs guide PIWI proteins to silence transposons in animal germ cells. Reciprocal cycles of piRNA-directed RNA cleavage--catalyzed by the PIWI proteins Aubergine (Aub) and Argonaute3 (Ago3) in Drosophila melanogaster--expand the population of antisense piRNAs in response to transposon expression, a process called the Ping-Pong cycle. Heterotypic Ping-Pong between Aub and Ago3 ensures that antisense piRNAs predominate. We show that qin, a piRNA pathway gene whose protein product contains both E3 ligase and Tudor domains, colocalizes with Aub and Ago3 in nuage, a perinuclear structure implicated in transposon silencing. In qin mutants, less Ago3 binds Aub, futile Aub:Aub homotypic Ping-Pong prevails, antisense piRNAs decrease, many families of mobile genetic elements are reactivated, and DNA damage accumulates in nurse cells and oocytes. We propose that Qin enforces heterotypic Ping-Pong between Aub and Ago3, ensuring that transposons are silenced and maintaining the integrity of the germline genome.

PMID:
22099305
PMCID:
PMC3236501
DOI:
10.1016/j.molcel.2011.10.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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