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Nat Commun. 2018 May 4;9(1):1735. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03908-3.

Heterochromatin protein 1a functions for piRNA biogenesis predominantly from pericentric and telomeric regions in Drosophila.

Author information

1
Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, 1 Research Link, National University of Singapore, 117604, Singapore, Singapore.
2
Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, 117543, Singapore, Singapore.
3
Department of Pathology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore, 308433, Singapore.
4
Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, 1 Research Link, National University of Singapore, 117604, Singapore, Singapore. amit@tll.org.sg.
5
School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 60 Nanyang Drive, 637551, Singapore, Singapore.
6
Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan. toshie_kai@fbs.osaka-u.ac.jp.

Abstract

In metazoan germline, Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) provide defence against transposons. Piwi-piRNA complex mediates transcriptional silencing of transposons in nucleus. Heterochromatin protein 1a (HP1a) has been proposed to function downstream of Piwi-piRNA complex in Drosophila. Here we show that HP1a germline knockdown (HP1a-GLKD) leads to a reduction in the total and Piwi-bound piRNAs mapping to clusters and transposons insertions, predominantly in the regions close to telomeres and centromeres, resulting in derepression of a limited number of transposons from these regions. In addition, HP1a-GLKD increases the splicing of transcripts arising from clusters in above regions, suggesting HP1a also functions upstream to piRNA processing. Evolutionarily old transposons enriched in the pericentric regions exhibit significant loss in piRNAs targeting these transposons upon HP1a-GLKD. Our study suggests that HP1a functions to repress transposons in a chromosomal compartmentalised manner.

PMID:
29728561
PMCID:
PMC5935673
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-03908-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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