DOI: 10.1101/453266Oct 25, 2018Paper

Maternal and zygotic gene regulatory effects of endogenous RNAi pathways

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Miguel V. AlmeidaRené F Ketting


Endogenous small RNAs (sRNAs) and Argonaute proteins are ubiquitous regulators of gene expression in germline and somatic tissues. sRNA-Argonaute complexes are often expressed in gametes and are consequently inherited by the next generation upon fertilization. In Caenorhabditis elegans, 26G-RNAs are primary endogenous sRNAs that trigger the expression of downstream secondary sRNAs. Two subpopulations of 26G-RNAs exist, each of which displaying strongly compartmentalized expression: one is expressed in the spermatogenic gonad and associates with the Argonautes ALG-3/4; plus another expressed in oocytes and in embryos, which associates with the Argonaute ERGO-1. The determinants and dynamics of gene silencing elicited by 26G-RNAs are largely unknown. Here, we provide diverse new insights into these endogenous sRNA pathways of C. elegans. Using genetics and deep sequencing, we dissect a maternal effect of the ERGO-1 branch sRNA pathway. We find that maternal primary sRNAs can trigger the production of zygotic secondary sRNAs that are able to silence targets, even in the absence of zygotic primary triggers. Thus, the interaction of maternal and zygotic sRNA populations, assures target gene silencing throughout animal development. F...Continue Reading

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