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Mar Biotechnol (NY) 2012 Aug 01;144:459-67. doi: 10.1007/s10126-011-9426-z.
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Identification and characterization of piRNA-like small RNAs in the gonad of sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus nudus).

Wei Z , Liu X , Zhang H .

Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) and their partner PIWI proteins play an essential role in fertility, germline stem cell development, as well as the basic control and evolution of animal genomes. However, research was rare with regard to piRNA population in sea urchin, a model animal intensively used for development and genetics studies. Utilizing Solexa sequencing, we present an identification of 13,051 piRNA-like RNAs expressed in male gonad of Strongylocentrotus nudus. Out of 202 tested RNAs, 94 sequences were confirmed to express in female gonad using microarray assay, suggesting that both male and female gonads are piRNA-like RNA-enriched organs. These RNAs with "U" at the 5'' end or "A" at position of 10, in size from 26 to 30 nucleotides, were predominantly 28 nt in length and tend to be clustered in small regions in genome, achieving the longest piRNA-like RNA-enriched region about 5.5 kb in scaffold78427. Alignment results showed 11 RNAs were homologous to the known piRNAs. Furthermore, BLASTn searching against sea urchin repeat element database showed these piRNA-like RNAs matched to 101 types of DNA transposons and retrotransposons, of which SPRP1, Harbinger-N2, piggyBac-N10, SINE2-1, and piggyBac-N11 were the most frequent hit elements, suggesting a transposon silencing function of these piRNA-like RNAs.

PubMed ID: 22160346
Article link: Mar Biotechnol (NY)

Genes referenced: LOC100887844 LOC115919910

References [+] :
Aravin, A piRNA pathway primed by individual transposons is linked to de novo DNA methylation in mice. 2008, Pubmed