MicroRNAs as master regulators of the plant NB-LRR defense gene family via the production of phased, trans-acting siRNAs.
ABSTRACT Legumes and many nonleguminous plants enter symbiotic interactions with microbes, and it is poorly understood how host plants respond to promote beneficial, symbiotic microbial interactions while suppressing those that are deleterious or pathogenic. Trans-acting siRNAs (tasiRNAs) negatively regulate target transcripts and are characterized by siRNAs spaced in 21-nucleotide (nt) "phased" intervals, a pattern formed by DICER-LIKE 4 (DCL4) processing. A search for phased siRNAs (phasiRNAs) found at least 114 Medicago loci, the majority of which were defense-related NB-LRR-encoding genes. We identified three highly abundant 22-nt microRNA (miRNA) families that target conserved domains in these NB-LRRs and trigger the production of trans-acting siRNAs. High levels of small RNAs were matched to >60% of all ∼540 encoded Medicago NB-LRRs; in the potato, a model for mycorrhizal interactions, phasiRNAs were also produced from NB-LRRs. DCL2 and SGS3 transcripts were also cleaved by these 22-nt miRNAs, generating phasiRNAs, suggesting synchronization between silencing and pathogen defense pathways. In addition, a new example of apparent "two-hit" phasiRNA processing was identified. Our data reveal complex tasiRNA-based regulation of NB-LRRs that potentially evolved to facilitate symbiotic interactions and demonstrate miRNAs as master regulators of a large gene family via the targeting of highly conserved, protein-coding motifs, a new paradigm for miRNA function.
Article: SGS3 and SGS2/SDE1/RDR6 are required for juvenile development and the production of trans-acting siRNAs in Arabidopsis.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Higher plants undergo a transition from a juvenile to an adult phase of vegetative development prior to flowering. Screens for mutants that undergo this transition precociously produced alleles of two genes required for posttranscriptional gene silencing (PTGS)--SUPPRESSOR OF GENE SILENCING3 (SGS3) and SUPPRESSOR OF GENE SILENCING2(SGS2)/SILENCING DEFECTIVE1 (SDE1)/RNA-DEPENDENT POLYMERASE6 (RDR6). Loss-of-function mutations in these genes have a phenotype similar to that of mutations in the Argonaute gene ZIPPY (ZIP). Epistasis analysis suggests that ZIP, SGS3, SGS2/SDE1/RDR6, and the putative miRNA export receptor, HASTY (HST), operate in the same pathway(s). Microarray analysis revealed a small number of genes whose mRNA is increased in ZIP, SGS3, and SGS2/SDE1/RDR6 mutants, as well as genes that are up-regulated in SGS3 and SGS2/SDE1/RDR6 mutants, but not in ZIP mutants. One of these latter genes (At5g18040) is silenced posttranscriptionally in trans by the sRNA255 family of endogenous, noncoding, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). The increase in At5g18040 mRNA in SGS3 and SGS2/SDE1/RDR6 mutants is attributable to the absence of sRNA255-like siRNAs in these mutants. These results demonstrate a role for endogenous siRNAs in the regulation of gene expression, and suggest that PTGS plays a central role in the temporal control of shoot development in plants.Genes & Development 11/2004; 18(19):2368-79. · 11.66 Impact Factor
Article: A microhomology-mediated break-induced replication model for the origin of human copy number variation.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Chromosome structural changes with nonrecurrent endpoints associated with genomic disorders offer windows into the mechanism of origin of copy number variation (CNV). A recent report of nonrecurrent duplications associated with Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease identified three distinctive characteristics. First, the majority of events can be seen to be complex, showing discontinuous duplications mixed with deletions, inverted duplications, and triplications. Second, junctions at endpoints show microhomology of 2-5 base pairs (bp). Third, endpoints occur near pre-existing low copy repeats (LCRs). Using these observations and evidence from DNA repair in other organisms, we derive a model of microhomology-mediated break-induced replication (MMBIR) for the origin of CNV and, ultimately, of LCRs. We propose that breakage of replication forks in stressed cells that are deficient in homologous recombination induces an aberrant repair process with features of break-induced replication (BIR). Under these circumstances, single-strand 3' tails from broken replication forks will anneal with microhomology on any single-stranded DNA nearby, priming low-processivity polymerization with multiple template switches generating complex rearrangements, and eventual re-establishment of processive replication.PLoS Genetics 02/2009; 5(1):e1000327. · 8.69 Impact Factor