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PLoS Genet. 2016 Jun 6;12(6):e1006057. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006057. eCollection 2016.

Analysis of the Microprocessor in Dictyostelium: The Role of RbdB, a dsRNA Binding Protein.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, FB10, Kassel University, Kassel, Germany.
  • 2Ribogenetics Biochemistry Laboratory, Department of Life Science and Chemistry, Molecular Life Sciences Research Center, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany.
  • 3Core Unit System Medicine, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.


We identified the dsRNA binding protein RbdB as an essential component in miRNA processing in Dictyostelium discoideum. RbdB is a nuclear protein that accumulates, together with Dicer B, in nucleolar foci reminiscent of plant dicing bodies. Disruption of rbdB results in loss of miRNAs and accumulation of primary miRNAs. The phenotype can be rescued by ectopic expression of RbdB thus allowing for a detailed analysis of domain function. The lack of cytoplasmic dsRBD proteins involved in miRNA processing, suggests that both processing steps take place in the nucleus thus resembling the plant pathway. However, we also find features e.g. in the domain structure of Dicer which suggest similarities to animals. Reduction of miRNAs in the rbdB- strain and their increase in the Argonaute A knock out allowed the definition of new miRNAs one of which appears to belong to a new non-canonical class.

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