Pluto Bioinformatics

GSE64138: Pachytene piRNAs target endogenous mRNAs for silencing during meiosis

Bulk RNA sequencing

During embryonic germ cell development in mice, transposon-enriched, piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) guide MILI and MIWI2 to direct silencing of potentially active mobile element families. In contrast, we know much less about the function of the highly abundant and extremely diverse class of piRNAs, which partner with MIWI and MILI during meiosis. Both MIWI and its catalytic activity are required for successful spermatogenesis, strongly indicating that piRNA-guided cleavage is critical for germ cell development. To gain an understanding of meiotic piRNA targets, we augmented the mouse piRNA repertoire by introducing an entire human meiotic piRNA cluster. This triggered a spermatogenesis defect, presumably by inappropriately targeting the piRNA machinery to mouse RNAs essential for germ cell development. Through an analysis of such de novo targets, we derived a signature for pachytene piRNA target recognition. This enabled identification of both transposable elements and meiotically expressed protein coding genes as targets of native piRNAs. Cleavage of genic targets begins at the pachytene stage when meiotic piRNAs first appear. As such, target mRNA levels attenuate starting from the pachytene stage and are further repressed throughout meiosis. Target mRNA-piRNA pairs also show evidence of an ongoing cleavage-dependent amplification cycle, which is not normally a strong feature of meiotic piRNAs. Our data support the idea that meiotic piRNA populations must be strongly selected to enable successful spermatogenesis, both driving the response away from essential genes and directing the pathway toward mRNA targets that are regulated by small RNAs in meiotic cells. SOURCE: Gregory,J,Hannon ( - Gregory Hannon Laboratory Cold spring harbor laboratory

View this experiment on Pluto Bioinformatics