Diverse Pathways Generate MicroRNA-like RNAs and Dicer-Independent Small Interfering RNAs in Fungi

Heng Chi Lee, Liande Li, Weifeng Gu, Zhihong Xue, Susan K. Crosthwaite, Alexander Pertsemlidis, Zachary A. Lewis, Michael Freitag, Eric U. Selker, Craig C. Mello, Yi Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

203 Scopus citations

Abstract

A variety of small RNAs, including the Dicer-dependent miRNAs and the Dicer-independent Piwi-interacting RNAs, associate with Argonaute family proteins to regulate gene expression in diverse cellular processes. These two species of small RNA have not been found in fungi. Here, by analyzing small RNAs associated with the Neurospora Argonaute protein QDE-2, we show that diverse pathways generate miRNA-like small RNAs (milRNAs) and Dicer-independent small interfering RNAs (disiRNAs) in this filamentous fungus. Surprisingly, milRNAs are produced by at least four different mechanisms that use a distinct combination of factors, including Dicers, QDE-2, the exonuclease QIP, and an RNase III domain-containing protein, MRPL3. In contrast, disiRNAs originate from loci producing overlapping sense and antisense transcripts, and do not require the known RNAi components for their production. Taken together, these results uncover several pathways for small RNA production in filamentous fungi, shedding light on the diversity and evolutionary origins of eukaryotic small RNAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-814
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular cell
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

Keywords

  • PROTEINS
  • RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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    Lee, H. C., Li, L., Gu, W., Xue, Z., Crosthwaite, S. K., Pertsemlidis, A., Lewis, Z. A., Freitag, M., Selker, E. U., Mello, C. C., & Liu, Y. (2010). Diverse Pathways Generate MicroRNA-like RNAs and Dicer-Independent Small Interfering RNAs in Fungi. Molecular cell, 38(6), 803-814. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2010.04.005