Nuclear PIWIs together with their guide RNAs (piRNAs) epigenetically silence various genes including transposons in many organisms. In planarians, the nuclear piwi family gene, DjpiwiB is specifically transcribed in adult pluripotent stem cells (adult PSC, neoblast), but not in differentiated cells. However, the protein accumulates in the nuclei of both neoblasts and their descendant differentiated cells. Interestingly, PIWI(DjPiwiB)‐piRNA complexes are indispensable for the repression of transposable genes at the onset of differentiation from neoblasts. Here, we conducted a comparative transcriptome analysis between control and DjpiwiB(RNAi) animals to identify non‐transposable target genes of the DjPiwiB‐piRNA complexes. Using bioinformatic analyses and RNAi we demonstrate that DjPiwiB‐piRNA complexes are required for the proper expression of Djmcm2 and Djhistone h4 in neoblasts and that DjPiwiB‐piRNA complexes regulate the transient expression of Djcalu during neoblast differentiation. Thus, DjPiwiB‐piRNA complexes regulate the correct expression patterns during neoblast self‐renewal and differentiation.
Development, Growth & Differentiation – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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