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Accession IconSRP066352

A Small RNA-Catalytic Argonaute Pathway Tunes Germline Transcript Levels to Ensure Embryonic Divisions

Organism Icon Caenorhabditis elegans
Sample Icon 65 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge IconIllumina HiSeq 2500

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Multiple division cycles without growth are a characteristic feature of early embryogenesis. The female germline deposits proteins and RNAs into oocytes to support these divisions, which lack many of the quality control mechanisms operating in somatic cells undergoing growth. How the composition of the oocyte maternal load is regulated to ensure its ability to support early embryogenesis is not known. Here we describe a small RNA-Argonaute pathway, operating in the C. elegans germline, that ensures early embryonic divisions by employing catalytic slicing activity to broadly tune, instead of silence, germline gene expression. Misregulation of one target, a kinesin-13 microtubule depolymerase, underlies a major embryonic phenotype associated with pathway loss. Tuning of target expression is guided by small RNA density, which must ultimately be related to target sequence. Thus, C. elegans employs a single catalytic Argonaute for small RNA-mediated tuning of the mRNA levels of germline-expressed genes that support early embryogenesis. Overall design: mRNA profiling of 2 replicates each for 3 genotypes of adult-stage C. elegans worms
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