Pattern formation by small RNA signals

Timmermans, M. C. P., Chitwood, D., Nogueira, F., Madi, S. (July 2008) Pattern formation by small RNA signals. Developmental Biology, 319 (2). pp. 463-464. ISSN 0012-1606

DOI: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.05.008


Plant stem cells not only serve as a persistent source of cells from which lateral organs arise, they also produce signals important for the patterning of lateral organs. Our work focuses on small regulatory RNAs as potential signals. Leaves of higher plants exhibit a varying degree of asymmetry along their dorsoventral axis. This asymmetry is specified via the polarized expression of class III homeodomain-leucine zipper (hd-zipIII) genes, which specify dorsal cell fate. Through detailed in situ hybridization analyses we were able to show that this polarized hd-zipIII expression is set up by the graded expression pattern of a 21-nucleotide microRNA, miR166. More recently, we have shown that this miR166 gradient is generated through the opposing activity of a different small regulatory RNA, the transacting siRNA tasiR-ARF. A further twist to the story is added by the observation that tasiR-ARF in turn is regulated by a third small RNA, miR390. Our observations identify a novel mechanism of pattern formation in which cell fates along a developmental axis are specified through the opposing activities of distinct small RNAs. miR390 and tasiR-ARF define the dorsal side of the leaf by restricting the expression domain of miR166, which in turn delineates the ventral side by restricting expression of the HD-ZIPIII transcription factors. Importantly, comparison of the expression patterns of small RNA precursor transcripts to those of the mature small RNAs provides evidence that small regulatory RNAs may traffic between cells, which offers the intriguing possibility that small RNAs may function as mobile signals in development.

Item Type: Paper
Additional Information: Meeting Abstract
Subjects: bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics
Publication Type > Meeting Abstract
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > sRNA
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Timmermans lab
School of Biological Sciences > Publications
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 15 July 2008
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2013 22:00
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2019 16:06

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