Dual functions of Macpiwi1 in transposon silencing and stem cell maintenance in the flatworm Macrostomum lignano

Zhou, X., Battistoni, G., El Demerdash, O., Gurtowski, J., Wunderer, J., Falciatori, I., Ladurner, P., Schatz, M. C., Hannon, G. J., Wasik, K. A. (November 2015) Dual functions of Macpiwi1 in transposon silencing and stem cell maintenance in the flatworm Macrostomum lignano. RNA, 21 (11). pp. 1885-1897. ISSN 1469-9001 (Electronic)1355-8382 (Linking)

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URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26323280
DOI: 10.1261/rna.052456.115

Abstract

PIWI proteins and piRNA pathways are essential for transposon silencing and some aspects of gene regulation during animal germline development. In contrast to most animal species, some flatworms also express PIWIs and piRNAs in somatic stem cells, where they are required for tissue renewal and regeneration. Here, we have identified and characterized piRNAs and PIWI proteins in the emerging model flatworm Macrostomum lignano. We found that M. lignano encodes at least three PIWI proteins. One of these, Macpiwi1, acts as a key component of the canonical piRNA pathway in the germline and in somatic stem cells. Knockdown of Macpiwi1 dramatically reduces piRNA levels, derepresses transposons, and severely impacts stem cell maintenance. Knockdown of the piRNA biogenesis factor Macvasa caused an even greater reduction in piRNA levels with a corresponding increase in transposons. Yet, in Macvasa knockdown animals, we detected no major impact on stem cell self-renewal. These results may suggest stem cell maintenance functions of PIWI proteins in flatworms that are distinguishable from their impact on transposons and that might function independently of what are considered canonical piRNA populations.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Macrostomum PIWI proteins piRNAs stem cell maintenance transposon silencing
Subjects: bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > protein structure, function, modification > protein types > Piwi protein
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > piRNA
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell types > stem cells
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell types > stem cells
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell types > stem cells

bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > transposons
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Hannon lab
CSHL labs > Schatz lab
CSHL labs > Vakoc lab
Watson School > Publications
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: November 2015
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2015 18:27
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2017 21:13
PMCID: PMC4604429
Related URLs:
URI: http://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/31734

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