Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Cell. 2014 Oct 27;31(2):145-58. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.09.015.

The C. elegans SNAPc component SNPC-4 coats piRNA domains and is globally required for piRNA abundance.

Author information

Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. Electronic address:


The Piwi/Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway protects the germline from the activity of foreign sequences such as transposons. Remarkably, tens of thousands of piRNAs arise from a minimal number of discrete genomic regions. The extent to which clustering of these small RNA genes contributes to their coordinated expression remains unclear. We show that C. elegans SNPC-4, the Myb-like DNA-binding subunit of the small nuclear RNA activating protein complex, binds piRNA clusters in a germline-specific manner and is required for global piRNA expression. SNPC-4 localization is mutually dependent with localization of piRNA biogenesis factor PRDE-1. SNPC-4 exhibits an atypical widely distributed binding pattern that "coats" piRNA domains. Discrete peaks within the domains occur frequently at RNA-polymerase-III-occupied transfer RNA (tRNA) genes, which have been implicated in chromatin organization. We suggest that SNPC-4 binding establishes a positive expression environment across piRNA domains, providing an explanation for the conserved clustering of individually transcribed piRNA genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center