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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2013 Feb;23(1):44-52. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2012.12.003. Epub 2013 Jan 11.

The piRNA pathway in flies: highlights and future directions.

Author information

1
Watson School of Biological Sciences, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, United States.

Abstract

Piwi proteins, together with their bound Piwi-interacting RNAs, constitute an evolutionarily conserved, germline-specific innate immune system. The piRNA pathway is one of the key mechanisms for silencing transposable elements in the germline, thereby preserving genome integrity between generations. Recent work from several groups has significantly advanced our understanding of how piRNAs arise from discrete genomic loci, termed piRNA clusters, and how these Piwi-piRNA complexes enforce transposon silencing. Here, we discuss these recent findings, as well as highlight some aspects of piRNA biology that continue to escape our understanding.

PMID:
23317515
PMCID:
PMC3621807
DOI:
10.1016/j.gde.2012.12.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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