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  • PMID: 31624801 was deleted because it is a duplicate of PMID: 31619466
Life Sci Alliance. 2019 Oct 16;2(5). pii: e201800211. doi: 10.26508/lsa.201800211. Print 2019 Oct.

Defining the expression of piRNA and transposable elements in Drosophila ovarian germline stem cells and somatic support cells.

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Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO, USA.
Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO, USA


Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are important for repressing transposable elements (TEs) and modulating gene expression in germ cells, thereby maintaining genome stability and germ cell function. Although they are also important for maintaining germline stem cells (GSCs) in the Drosophila ovary by repressing TEs and preventing DNA damage, piRNA expression has not been investigated in GSCs or their early progeny. Here, we show that the canonical piRNA clusters are more active in GSCs and their early progeny than late germ cells and also identify more than 3,000 new piRNA clusters from deep sequencing data. The increase in piRNAs in GSCs and early progeny can be attributed to both canonical and newly identified piRNA clusters. As expected, piRNA clusters in GSCs, but not those in somatic support cells (SCs), exhibit ping-pong signatures. Surprisingly, GSCs and early progeny express more TE transcripts than late germ cells, suggesting that the increase in piRNA levels may be related to the higher levels of TE transcripts in GSCs and early progeny. GSCs also have higher piRNA levels and lower TE levels than SCs. Furthermore, the 3' UTRs of 171 mRNA transcripts may produce sense, antisense, or dual-stranded piRNAs. Finally, we show that alternative promoter usage and splicing are frequently used to modulate gene function in GSCs and SCs. Overall, this study has provided important insight into piRNA production and TE repression in GSCs and SCs. The rich information provided by this study will be a beneficial resource to the fields of piRNA biology and germ cell development.


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