Differential phase partition of a PICS complex is required for piRNA processing and chromosome segregation in C. elegans

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Chenming ZengShouhong Guang


Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) play significant roles in suppressing transposons and non-self nucleic acids, maintaining genome integrity, defending against viral infections, and are essential for fertility in a variety of organisms. In C. elegans, most piRNA precursors are transcribed by RNA polymerase II in the nucleus and are subjected to a number of processing and maturation steps. However, the biogenesis of piRNAs are still not fully understood. We used functional proteomics to study piRNA biogenesis in C. elegans and identified a PICS complex that is required for piRNA processing and chromosome segregation. The PICS complex contains two known piRNA biogenesis factors TOFU-6 and PID-1, and three new proteins PICS-1, TOST-1, and ERH-2, which exhibit dynamic localization among different subcellular compartments. In the germline of gravid animals, the PICS complex contains TOFU-6/PICS-1/ERH-2/PID-1 and largely concentrate at the perinuclear granule zone and engages in piRNA processing. During early embryogenesis, the TOFU-6/PICS-1/ERH-2/TOST-1 complex accumulates in the nucleus and play essential roles in chromosome segregation and cell division. Interestingly, the function of these factors in mediating chromosome segregation...Continue Reading

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Cell Division
Cell Nucleus
Embryonic Development
Nucleic Acids
DNA-Directed RNA Polymerase

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