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Biomed J. 2014 Nov-Dec;37(6):369-74. doi: 10.4103/2319-4170.132909.

Is zucchini a phosphodiesterase or a ribonuclease?

Author information

1
Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo; JST, CREST, Saitama, Japan.

Abstract

Zucchini (Zuc), a member of the phospholipase D (PLD) superfamily, is essential for the primary PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) biogenesis and the suppression of transposon expression, which are crucial for the genome integrity of germline cells. However, it has been ambiguous whether Zuc acts as a phosphodiesterase to produce phosphatidic acid (PA), the lipid signaling molecule, or as a nuclease. The recent three papers describing the crystal structures and functional analyses of fly and mouse Zuc proteins have elucidated that Zuc is a PLD family single-strand ribonuclease, not a phosphodiesterase, and functions in the maturation of primary piRNAs. This review will discuss in detail how the crystal structures clearly predict the function of Zuc, which is subsequently demonstrated by biochemical analysis to conclude the previous controversial discussion on the real function of Zuc.

PMID:
25179713
DOI:
10.4103/2319-4170.132909
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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