PIWI proteins interacting with specific type of small RNAs (piRNAs) repress transposable elements in animals. Besides, they have been shown to participate in various cellular processes: in the regulation of heterochromatin formation including telomere structures, in the control of translation and the cell cycle, and in DNA rearrangements. PIWI proteins were first identified by their roles in the self-renewal of germline stem cells. PIWI protein functions are not limited to gonadogenesis, but the role in determining the fate of stem cells is their specific feature conserved throughout the evolution of animals. Molecular mechanisms underlying these processes are far from being understood. This review focuses on the role of PIWI proteins in the control of maintenance and proliferation of germinal stem cells and its relation to the known function of PIWI in transposon repression.
decapentaplegic is essential for the maintenance and division of germline stem cells in the Drosophila ovary
A novel class of evolutionarily conserved genes defined by piwi are essential for stem cell self-renewal
Yb modulates the divisions of both germline and somatic stem cells through piwi- and hh-mediated mechanisms in the Drosophila ovary
Dpp signaling silences bam transcription directly to establish asymmetric divisions of germline stem cells
Germline stem cell number in the Drosophila ovary is regulated by redundant mechanisms that control Dpp signaling
Regulatory relationship among piwi, pumilio, and bag-of-marbles in Drosophila germline stem cell self-renewal and differentiation
Stem-cell protein Piwil2 is widely expressed in tumors and inhibits apoptosis through activation of Stat3/Bcl-XL pathway
zucchini and squash encode two putative nucleases required for rasiRNA production in the Drosophila germline
Repeat-associated siRNAs cause chromatin silencing of retrotransposons in the Drosophila melanogaster germline
DNA methylation of retrotransposon genes is regulated by Piwi family members MILI and MIWI2 in murine fetal testes
The Yb protein defines a novel organelle and regulates male germline stem cell self-renewal in Drosophila melanogaster
piRNAs mediate posttranscriptional retroelement silencing and localization to pi-bodies in the Drosophila germline
The Drosophila HP1 homolog Rhino is required for transposon silencing and piRNA production by dual-strand clusters
Interaction of RNA polymerase II and the small RNA machinery affects heterochromatic silencing in Drosophila
Cutting edge: KIR antisense transcripts are processed into a 28-base PIWI-like RNA in human NK cells.
An in vivo RNAi assay identifies major genetic and cellular requirements for primary piRNA biogenesis in Drosophila
The Yb body, a major site for Piwi-associated RNA biogenesis and a gateway for Piwi expression and transport to the nucleus in somatic cells.
The Fused/Smurf complex controls the fate of Drosophila germline stem cells by generating a gradient BMP response
Expression profiles of PIWIL2 short isoforms differ in testicular germ cell tumors of various differentiation subtypes
Adult Stem Cells
Adult stem cells reside in unique niches that provide vital cues for their survival, self-renewal, and differentiation. They hold great promise for use in tissue repair and regeneration as a novel therapeutic strategies. Here is the latest research.