Open Close
Reference
Citation
Wang, S.H., Elgin, S.C. (2011). Drosophila Piwi functions downstream of piRNA production mediating a chromatin-based transposon silencing mechanism in female germ line.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 108(52): 21164--21169.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0217081
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Transposon control is a critical process during reproduction. The PIWI family proteins can play a key role, using a piRNA-mediated slicing mechanism to suppress transposon activity posttranscriptionally. In Drosophila melanogaster, Piwi is predominantly localized in the nucleus and has been implicated in heterochromatin formation. Here, we use female germ-line-specific depletion to study Piwi function. This depletion of Piwi leads to infertility and to axis specification defects in the developing egg chambers; correspondingly, widespread loss of transposon silencing is observed. Germ-line Piwi does not appear to be required for piRNA production. Instead, Piwi requires Aubergine (and presumably secondary piRNA) for proper localization. A subset of transposons that show significant overexpression in germ-line Piwi-depleted ovaries exhibit a corresponding loss of HP1a and H3K9me2. Germ-line HP1a depletion also leads to a loss of transposon silencing, demonstrating the functional requirement for HP1a enrichment at these loci. Considering our results and those of others, we infer that germ-line Piwi functions downstream of piRNA production to promote silencing of some transposons via recruitment of HP1a. Thus, in addition to its better-known function in posttranscriptional silencing, piRNA also appears to function in a targeting mechanism for heterochromatin formation mediated by Piwi.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC3248523 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
Associated Information
Comments
Associated Files
Other Information
Secondary IDs
    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
    Title
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Publication Year
    1915-
    ISBN/ISSN
    0027-8424
    Data From Reference