A conserved siRNA-degrading RNase negatively regulates RNA interference in C. elegans.
ABSTRACT In many organisms, introducing double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) causes the degradation of messenger RNA that is homologous to the trigger dsRNA--a process known as RNA interference. The dsRNA is cleaved into short interfering RNAs (siRNAs), which hybridize to homologous mRNAs and induce their degradation. dsRNAs vary in their ability to trigger RNA interference: many mRNA-targeting dsRNAs show weak phenotypes, and nearly all mRNAs of the Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system are refractory to RNA interference. C. elegans eri-1 was identified in a genetic screen for mutants with enhanced sensitivity to dsRNAs. Here we show that eri-1 encodes an evolutionarily conserved protein with domains homologous to nucleic-acid-binding and exonuclease proteins. After exposure to dsRNA or siRNAs, animals with eri-1 mutations accumulate more siRNAs than do wild-type animals. C. elegans ERI-1 and its human orthologue degrade siRNAs in vitro. In the nematode worm, ERI-1 is predominantly cytoplasmic and is expressed most highly in the gonad and a subset of neurons, suggesting that ERI-1 siRNase activity suppresses RNA interference more intensely in these tissues. Thus, ERI-1 is a negative regulator that may normally function to limit the duration, cell-type specificity or endogenous functions of RNA interference.
Article: Differential impact of the HEN1 homolog HENN-1 on 21U and 26G RNAs in the germline of Caenorhabditis elegans.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi)-related pathways affect gene activity by sequence-specific recruitment of Ago proteins to mRNA target molecules. The sequence specificity of this process stems from small RNA (sRNA) co-factors bound by the Ago protein. Stability of sRNA molecules in some pathways is in part regulated by Hen1-mediated methylation of their 3' ends. Here we describe the effects of the Caenorhabditis elegans HEN1 RNA-methyl-transferase homolog, HENN-1, on the different RNAi pathways in this nematode. We reveal differential effects of HENN-1 on the two pathways that are known to employ methylated sRNA molecules: the 26G and 21U pathways. Surprisingly, in the germline, stability of 21U RNAs, the C. elegans piRNAs, is only mildly affected by loss of methylation; and introduction of artificial 21U target RNA does not further destabilize non-methylated 21U RNAs. In contrast, most 26G RNAs display reduced stability and respond to loss of HENN-1 by displaying increased 3'-uridylation frequencies. Within the 26G RNA class, we find that specifically ERGO-1-bound 26G RNAs are modified by HENN-1, while ALG-3/ALG-4-bound 26G RNAs are not. Global gene expression analysis of henn-1 mutants reveals mild effects, including down-regulation of many germline-expressed genes. Our data suggest that, apart from direct effects of reduced 26G RNA levels of henn-1 on gene expression, most effects on global gene expression are indirect. These studies further refine our understanding of endogenous RNAi in C. elegans and the roles for Hen1 like enzymes in these pathways.PLoS Genetics 07/2012; 8(7):e1002702. · 8.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: For 10,000 years pigs and humans have shared a close and complex relationship. From domestication to modern breeding practices, humans have shaped the genomes of domestic pigs. Here we present the assembly and analysis of the genome sequence of a female domestic Duroc pig (Sus scrofa) and a comparison with the genomes of wild and domestic pigs from Europe and Asia. Wild pigs emerged in South East Asia and subsequently spread across Eurasia. Our results reveal a deep phylogenetic split between European and Asian wild boars ∼1 million years ago, and a selective sweep analysis indicates selection on genes involved in RNA processing and regulation. Genes associated with immune response and olfaction exhibit fast evolution. Pigs have the largest repertoire of functional olfactory receptor genes, reflecting the importance of smell in this scavenging animal. The pig genome sequence provides an important resource for further improvements of this important livestock species, and our identification of many putative disease-causing variants extends the potential of the pig as a biomedical model.Nature 11/2012; 491(7424):393-398. · 36.28 Impact Factor
Dataset: Application of siRNA