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Small RNA Silencing Pathways in Germ and Stem Cells

Aravin, A. A. and Hannon, G. J. (2008) Small RNA Silencing Pathways in Germ and Stem Cells. In: Control and regulation of stem cells. Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology . No.73. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory , New York, NY, pp. 283-290. ISBN 978-087969862-1.

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During the past several years, it has become clear that small RNAs guard germ cell genomes from the activity of mobile genetic elements. Indeed, in mammals, a class of small RNAs, known as Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), forms an innate immune system that discriminates transposons from endogenous genes and selectively silences the former. piRNAs enforce silencing by directing transposon DNA methylation during male germ cell development. As such, piRNAs represent perhaps the only currently known sequence-specific factor for deposition of methylcytosine in mammals. The three mammalian Piwi proteins Miwi2, Mili, and Miwi are required at different stages of germ cell development. Moreover, distinct classes of piRNAs are expressed in developmental waves, with particular generative loci and different sequence content distinguishing piRNAs populations in embryonic germ cells from those that appear during meiosis. Although our understanding of Piwi proteins and piRNA biology have deepened substantially during the last several years, major gaps still exist in our understanding of these enigmatic RNA species.

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Additional Information:© 2008 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. The Authors acknowledge that six months after the full-issue publication date, the Article will be distributed under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC License (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, We thank members of the Hannon lab for helpful discussions. This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to G.J.H. and an NIH Pathway to Independence Award K99HD057233 to A.A.A.
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Series Name:Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology
Issue or Number:73
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190509-074849509
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:95359
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 May 2019 17:25
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:12

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