Restricted and non-essential redundancy of RNAi and piRNA pathways in mouse oocytes

Autoři: Eliska Taborska aff001;  Josef Pasulka aff001;  Radek Malik aff001;  Filip Horvat aff001;  Irena Jenickova aff003;  Zoe Jelić Matošević aff002;  Petr Svoboda aff001
Působiště autorů: Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague 4, Czech Republic aff001;  Bioinformatics Group, Division of Molecular Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia aff002;  Czech Centre of Phenogenomics, Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Vestec, Czech Republic aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: Restricted and non-essential redundancy of RNAi and piRNA pathways in mouse oocytes. PLoS Genet 15(12): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1008261
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008261


Germline genome defense evolves to recognize and suppress retrotransposons. One of defensive mechanisms is the PIWI-associated RNA (piRNA) pathway, which employs small RNAs for sequence-specific repression. The loss of the piRNA pathway in mice causes male sterility while females remain fertile. Unlike spermatogenic cells, mouse oocytes posses also RNA interference (RNAi), another small RNA pathway capable of retrotransposon suppression. To examine whether RNAi compensates the loss of the piRNA pathway, we produced a new RNAi pathway mutant DicerSOM and crossed it with a catalytically-dead mutant of Mili, an essential piRNA gene. Normal follicular and oocyte development in double mutants showed that RNAi does not suppress a strong ovarian piRNA knock-out phenotype. However, we observed redundant and non-redundant targeting of specific retrotransposon families illustrating stochasticity of recognition and targeting of invading retrotransposons. Intracisternal A Particle retrotransposon was mainly targeted by the piRNA pathway, MaLR and RLTR10 retrotransposons were targeted mainly by RNAi. Double mutants showed accumulations of LINE-1 retrotransposon transcripts. However, we did not find strong evidence for transcriptional activation and mobilization of retrotransposition competent LINE-1 elements suggesting that while both defense pathways are simultaneously expendable for ovarian oocyte development, yet another transcriptional silencing mechanism prevents mobilization of LINE-1 elements.

Klíčová slova:

Mammalian genomics – Mouse models – Oocytes – Retrotransposons – RNA interference – RNA sequencing – Small interfering RNAs – Transcriptome analysis


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