A novel class of small RNAs in mouse spermatogenic cells

Author:

Grivna Shane T.,Beyret Ergin,Wang Zhong,Lin Haifan

Abstract

Small noncoding RNAs, including small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and micro RNAs (miRNAs) of ∼21 nucleotides (nt) in length, have emerged as potent regulators of gene expression at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels in diverse organisms. Here we report the identification of a novel class of small RNAs in the mouse male germline termed piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs). piRNAs are ∼30 nt in length. They are expressed during spermatogenesis, mostly in spermatids. piRNAs are associated with MIWI, a spermatogenesis-specific PIWI subfamily member of the Argonaute protein family, and depend on MIWI for their biogenesis and/or stability. Furthermore, a subpopulation of piRNAs are associated with polysomes, suggesting their potential role in translational regulation.

Publisher

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Subject

Developmental Biology,Genetics

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