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piRNA Biogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster

Huang, Xiawei and Fejes Tóth, Katalin and Aravin, Alexei A. (2017) piRNA Biogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster. Trends in Genetics, 33 (11). pp. 882-894. ISSN 0168-9525. PMCID PMC5773129.

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The PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway is a conserved defense system that protects the genome integrity of the animal germline from deleterious transposable elements. Targets of silencing are recognized by small noncoding piRNAs that are processed from long precursor molecules. Although piRNAs and other classes of small noncoding RNAs, such as miRNAs and small interfering (si)RNAs, interact with members of the same family of Argonaute (Ago) proteins and their function in target repression is similar, the biogenesis of piRNAs differs from those of the other two small RNAs. Recently, many aspects of piRNA biogenesis have been revealed in Drosophila melanogaster. In this review, we elaborate on piRNA biogenesis in Drosophila somatic and germline cells. We focus on the mechanisms by which piRNA precursor transcription is regulated and highlight recent work that has advanced our understanding of piRNA precursor processing to mature piRNAs. We finish by discussing current models to the still unresolved question of how piRNA precursors are selected and channeled into the processing machinery.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Fejes Tóth, Katalin0000-0001-6558-2636
Additional Information:© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. Available online 27 September 2017. This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health R01 GM097363, R01 GM110217, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation 14.W03.31.0007, and the HHMI Scholar and Packard Fellowship awards.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIHR01 GM097363
NIHR01 GM110217
Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation14.W03.31.0007
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:11
PubMed Central ID:PMC5773129
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170928-154519998
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Xiawei Huang, Katalin Fejes Tóth, Alexei A. Aravin, piRNA Biogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster, In Trends in Genetics, Volume 33, Issue 11, 2017, Pages 882-894, ISSN 0168-9525, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81908
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Sep 2017 22:51
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:48

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