Tag Archives: small_RNA_biogenesis

miRGen 2.0: a database of microRNA genomic information and regulation

Publication
mirgen2

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Nucleic Acids Research , 38(Database issue): D137–D141.

Abstract

MicroRNAs are small, non-protein coding RNA molecules known to regulate the expression of genes by binding to the 3’UTR region of mRNAs. MicroRNAs are produced from longer transcripts which can code for more than one mature miRNAs. miRGen 2.0 is a database that aims to provide comprehensive information about the position of human and mouse microRNA coding transcripts and their regulation by transcription factors, including a unique compilation of both predicted and experimentally supported data. Expression profiles of microRNAs in several tissues and cell lines, single nucleotide polymorphism locations, microRNA targetprediction on protein coding genes and mapping of miRNA targets of co-regulated miRNAs on biological pathways are also integrated into the database and user interface. The miRGen database will be continuously maintained and freely available at http://www.microrna.gr/mirgen/.

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Mitochondrial protein BmPAPI modulates the length of mature piRNAs.

Publication
Papi

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RNA 19(10):1405-18

Abstract
PIWI proteins and their associated PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) protect genome integrity by silencing transposons in animal germlines. The molecular mechanisms and components responsible for piRNA biogenesis remain elusive. PIWI proteins contain conserved symmetrical dimethylarginines (sDMAs) that are specifically targeted by TUDOR domain-containing proteins. Here we report that the sDMAs of PIWI proteins play crucial roles in PIWI localization and piRNA biogenesis in Bombyx mori-derived BmN4 cells, which harbor fully functional piRNA biogenesis machinery. Moreover, RNAi screenings for Bombyx genes encoding TUDOR domain-containing proteins identified BmPAPI, a Bombyx homolog of Drosophila PAPI, as a factor modulating the length of mature piRNAs. BmPAPI specifically recognized sDMAs and interacted with PIWI proteins at the surface of the mitochondrial outer membrane. BmPAPI depletion resulted in 3′-terminal extensions of mature piRNAs without affecting the piRNA quantity. These results reveal the BmPAPI-involved piRNA precursor processing mechanism on mitochondrial outer membrane scaffolds.

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A MicroRNA precursor surveillance system in quality control of MicroRNA synthesis.

Publication

microrna biogenesis img

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Mol Cell. 55(6):868-79.

Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are essential for regulation of gene expression. Though numerous miRNAs have been identified by high-throughput sequencing, few precursor miRNAs (pre-miRNAs) are experimentally validated. Here we report a strategy for constructing high-throughput sequencing libraries enriched for full-length pre-miRNAs. We find widespread and extensive uridylation of Argonaute (Ago)-bound pre-miRNAs, which is primarily catalyzed by two terminal uridylyltransferases: TUT7 and TUT4. Uridylation by TUT7/4 not only polishes pre-miRNA 3′ ends, but also facilitates their degradation by the exosome, preventing clogging of Ago with defective species. We show that the exosome exploits distinct substrate preferences of DIS3 and RRP6, its two catalytic subunits, to distinguish productive from defective pre-miRNAs. Furthermore, we identify a positive feedback loop formed by the exosome and TUT7/4 in triggering uridylation and degradation of Ago-bound pre-miRNAs. Our study reveals a pre-miRNA surveillance system that comprises TUT7, TUT4, and the exosome in quality control of miRNA synthesis.

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The RNA helicase MOV10L1 binds piRNA precursors to initiate piRNA processing

Publication
MOV10L1

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Genes Dev. 2015 Mar 15;29(6):617-29.

Abstract
Piwi-piRNA (Piwi-interacting RNA) ribonucleoproteins (piRNPs) enforce retrotransposon silencing, a function critical for preserving the genome integrity of germ cells. The molecular functions of most of the factors that have been genetically implicated in primary piRNA biogenesis are still elusive. Here we show that MOV10L1 exhibits 5′-to-3′ directional RNA-unwinding activity in vitro and that a point mutation that abolishes this activity causes a failure in primary piRNA biogenesis in vivo. We demonstrate that MOV10L1 selectively binds piRNA precursor transcripts and is essential for the generation of intermediate piRNA processing fragments that are subsequently loaded to Piwi proteins. Multiple analyses suggest an intimate coupling of piRNA precursor processing with elements of local secondary structures such as G quadruplexes. Our results support a model in which MOV10L1 RNA helicase activity promotes unwinding and funneling of the single-stranded piRNA precursor transcripts to the endonuclease that catalyzes the first cleavage step of piRNA processing.

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