Short regulatory RNAs 25–35 nucleotides in length, along with RNA-binding proteins of the Piwi family, constitute an evolutionarily conserved system that functions mainly in eukaryotic gonads. The system can be regarded as a variation of the RNA interference mechanism, which is based on the recognition of target RNA as a result of complementary interactions with piRNAs. Different variants of this regulatory system function both in germline cells, including stem cells, and somatic cells of the niche, ensuring maintenance of the germline stem cells and their differentiation. One of the most important functions (but not the only one) of this system is the repression of transposons, which guarantees genome stability in germline cells. This review focuses on the works of the authors in the context of outstanding international achievements in the rapidly evolving research area, the biology of piRNA and the functions of the Piwi protein.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 21, 2015
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