University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Program in Molecular Medicine; RNA Therapeutics Institute

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Article Preprint


Cell and Developmental Biology | Enzymes and Coenzymes | Molecular Biology | Nucleic Acids, Nucleotides, and Nucleosides


Eukaryotic cells regulate 5' triphosphorylated (ppp-) RNAs to promote cellular functions and prevent recognition by antiviral RNA sensors. For example, RNA capping enzymes possess triphosphatase domains that remove the γ phosphates of ppp-RNAs during RNA capping. Members of the closely related PIR1 family of RNA polyphosphatases remove both the β and γ phosphates from ppp-RNAs. Here we show that C. elegans PIR-1 dephosphorylates ppp-RNAs made by cellular RdRPs and is required for the maturation of 26G-RNAs, Dicer-dependent small RNAs that regulate thousands of genes during spermatogenesis and embryogenesis. PIR-1 also regulates the CSR-1 22G-RNA pathway and has critical functions in both somatic and germline development. Our findings suggest that PIR-1 modulates both Dicer-dependent and -independent Argonaute pathways, and provide insight into how cells and viruses use a conserved RNA phosphatase to regulate and respond to ppp-RNA species.


molecular biology, RNA phosphatase PIR-1, endogenous small RNA pathways

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The copyright holder for this preprint (which was not peer-reviewed) is the author/funder. It is made available under a CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license.

DOI of Published Version



bioRxiv 2020.08.03.235143; doi: Link to preprint on bioRxiv service.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.