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A role for transcription from a piRNA cluster in de novo piRNA production

A role for transcription from a piRNA cluster in de novo piRNA production

Rna 18(2): 265-273

PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are at the heart of the nucleic acid-based adaptive immune system against transposons in animal gonads. To date, how the piRNA pathway senses an element as a substrate and how de novo piRNA production is initiated remain elusive. Here, by utilizing a GFP transgene, we screened and obtained clonal silkworm BmN4 cell lines producing massively amplified GFP-derived piRNAs capable of silencing GFP in trans. In multiple independent cell lines where GFP expression was silenced by the piRNA pathway, we detected a common transcript from an endogenous piRNA cluster, in which a part of the cluster is uniquely fused with an antisense GFP sequence. Bioinformatic analyses suggest that the fusion transcript is a source of GFP primary piRNAs. Our data implicate a role for transcription from a piRNA cluster in initiating de novo piRNA production against a new insertion.

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Accession: 051246376

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22194309

DOI: 10.1261/rna.029777.111

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