GSBS Student Publications

Title

Argonautes Promote Male Fertility and Provide a Paternal Memory of Germline Gene Expression in C. elegans

Student Author(s)

Colin C. Conine

GSBS Program

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Publication Date

2013-12-19

UMMS Affiliation

RNA Therapeutics Institute and Program in Molecular Medicine

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Bioinformatics | Biology | Cell Biology | Developmental Biology | Genetics | Genomics | Molecular Genetics

Abstract

During each life cycle, germ cells preserve and pass on both genetic and epigenetic information. In C. elegans, the ALG-3/4 Argonaute proteins are expressed during male gametogenesis and promote male fertility. Here, we show that the CSR-1 Argonaute functions with ALG-3/4 to positively regulate target genes required for spermiogenesis. Our findings suggest that ALG-3/4 functions during spermatogenesis to amplify a small RNA signal that represents an epigenetic memory of male-specific gene expression. CSR-1, which is abundant in mature sperm, appears to transmit this memory to offspring. Surprisingly, in addition to small RNAs targeting male-specific genes, we show that males also harbor an extensive repertoire of CSR-1 small RNAs targeting oogenesis-specific mRNAs. Together, these findings suggest that C. elegans sperm transmit not only the genome but also epigenetic binary signals in the form of Argonaute/small RNA complexes that constitute a memory of gene expression in preceding generations.

Keywords

Epigenetics, RNAi, Small RNA, Argonaute, Germline Sperm

DOI of Published Version

10.1016/j.cell.2013.11.032

Source

Conine, C.C., Moresco, J.J., Gu, W., Shirayama, M., Conte, D., Jr., Yates, J.R., 3rd, and Mello, C.C. (2013). Argonautes Promote Male Fertility and Provide a Paternal Memory of Germline Gene Expression in C. elegans. Cell 155(7):1532-1544. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.11.032. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Cell

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID

24360276

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