Document Detail

A role for Piwi and piRNAs in germ cell maintenance and transposon silencing in Zebrafish.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17418787     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Piwi proteins specify an animal-specific subclass of the Argonaute family that, in vertebrates, is specifically expressed in germ cells. We demonstrate that zebrafish Piwi (Ziwi) is expressed in both the male and the female gonad and is a component of a germline-specifying structure called nuage. Loss of Ziwi function results in a progressive loss of germ cells due to apoptosis during larval development. In animals that have reduced Ziwi function, germ cells are maintained but display abnormal levels of apoptosis in adults. In mammals, Piwi proteins associate with approximately 29-nucleotide-long, testis-specific RNA molecules called piRNAs. Here we show that zebrafish piRNAs are present in both ovary and testis. Many of these are derived from transposons, implicating a role for piRNAs in the silencing of repetitive elements in vertebrates. Furthermore, we show that piRNAs are Dicer independent and that their 3' end likely carries a 2'O-Methyl modification.
Saskia Houwing; Leonie M Kamminga; Eugene Berezikov; Daniela Cronembold; Angélique Girard; Hans van den Elst; Dmitri V Filippov; Heiko Blaser; Erez Raz; Cecilia B Moens; Ronald H A Plasterk; Gregory J Hannon; Bruce W Draper; René F Ketting
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cell     Volume:  129     ISSN:  0092-8674     ISO Abbreviation:  Cell     Publication Date:  2007 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-04-09     Completed Date:  2007-05-18     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0413066     Medline TA:  Cell     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  69-82     Citation Subset:  IM    
Hubrecht Laboratory, Uppsalalaan 8, Utrecht, Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Embryo, Nonmammalian / chemistry,  cytology,  metabolism
Germ Cells / chemistry,  cytology*,  metabolism
Ovary / cytology
RNA Interference
RNA, Untranslated / genetics,  metabolism*
RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
Testis / cytology
Zebrafish Proteins / metabolism*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/RNA, Untranslated; 0/RNA-Binding Proteins; 0/Retroelements; 0/Zebrafish Proteins; 0/Ziwi protein, zebrafish

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