Distinct functions for the Drosophila piRNA pathway in genome maintenance and telomere protection
UMass Chan AffiliationsProgram in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology
Program in Molecular Medicine
Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
Peptide Initiation Factors
RNA, Small Interfering
Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology
Genetics and Genomics
Medicine and Health Sciences
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AbstractTransposons and other selfish DNA elements can be found in all phyla, and mobilization of these elements can compromise genome integrity. The piRNA (PIWI-interacting RNA) pathway silences transposons in the germline, but it is unclear if this pathway has additional functions during development. Here we show that mutations in the Drosophila piRNA pathway genes, armi, aub, ago3, and rhi, lead to extensive fragmentation of the zygotic genome during the cleavage stage of embryonic divisions. Additionally, aub and armi show defects in telomere resolution during meiosis and the cleavage divisions; and mutations in lig-IV, which disrupt non-homologous end joining, suppress these fusions. By contrast, lig-IV mutations enhance chromosome fragmentation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation studies show that aub and armi mutations disrupt telomere binding of HOAP, which is a component of the telomere protection complex, and reduce expression of a subpopulation of 19- to 22-nt telomere-specific piRNAs. Mutations in rhi and ago3, by contrast, do not block HOAP binding or production of these piRNAs. These findings uncover genetically separable functions for the Drosophila piRNA pathway. The aub, armi, rhi, and ago3 genes silence transposons and maintain chromosome integrity during cleavage-stage embryonic divisions. However, the aub and armi genes have an additional function in assembly of the telomere protection complex.
SourceKhurana JS, Xu J, Weng Z, Theurkauf WE (2010) Distinct Functions for the Drosophila piRNA Pathway in Genome Maintenance and Telomere Protection. PLoS Genet 6(12): e1001246. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001246. Link to article on publisher's site
Permanent Link to this Itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14038/39566
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RightsCopyright: © 2010 Khurana et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.