The piRNA targeting rules and the resistance to piRNA silencing in endogenous genes
Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology
Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Bioinformatics | Computational Biology
Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) silence transposons to safeguard genome integrity in animals. However, the functions of the many piRNAs that do not map to transposons remain unknown. Here, we show that piRNA targeting in Caenorhabditis elegans can tolerate a few mismatches but prefer perfect pairing at the seed region. The broad targeting capacity of piRNAs underlies the germline silencing of transgenes in C. elegans Transgenes engineered to avoid piRNA recognition are stably expressed. Many endogenous germline-expressed genes also contain predicted piRNA targeting sites, and periodic An/Tn clusters (PATCs) are an intrinsic signal that provides resistance to piRNA silencing. Together, our study revealed the piRNA targeting rules and highlights a distinct strategy that C. elegans uses to distinguish endogenous from foreign nucleic acids.
DOI of Published Version
Science. 2018 Feb 2;359(6375):587-592. doi: 10.1126/science.aao2840. Epub 2018 Feb 1. Link to article on publisher's site
Science (New York, N.Y.)
Zhang D, Tu S, Stubna M, Wu W, Huang W, Weng Z, Lee H. (2018). The piRNA targeting rules and the resistance to piRNA silencing in endogenous genes. Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology Publications. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aao2840. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/bioinformatics_pubs/131