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You are here : Home / Home URGI / About us / Publications / 2015 / Post-transcriptional gene silencing triggered by sense transgenes involves uncapped antisense RNA and differs from silencing intentionally triggered by antisense transgenes

2015

International,  ACL (papers with reading comittee)

Nucleic Acids Research, 2015, 43 (17) : 8464-8475.

24 Nov 2015   Post-transcriptional gene silencing triggered by sense transgenes involves uncapped antisense RNA and differs from silencing intentionally triggered by antisense transgenes

Parent, J. S. ; Jauvion, V. ; Bouche, N. ; Beclin, C. ; Hachet, M. ; Zytnicki, M. ; Vaucheret, H.

Although post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) has been studied for more than a decade, there is still a gap in our understanding of how de novo silencing is initiated against genetic elements that are not supposed to produce double-stranded (ds)RNA. Given the pervasive transcription occurring throughout eukaryote genomes, we tested the hypothesis that unintended transcription could produce antisense (as)RNA molecules that participate to the initiation of PTGS triggered by sense transgenes (S-PTGS). Our results reveal a higher level of asRNA in Arabidopsis thaliana lines that spontaneously trigger S-PTGS than in lines that do not. However, PTGS triggered by antisense transgenes (AS-PTGS) differs from S-PTGS. In particular, a hypomorphic ago1 mutation that suppresses S-PTGS prevents the degradation of asRNA but not sense RNA during AS-PTGS, suggesting a different treatment of coding and non-coding RNA by AGO1, likely because of AGO1 association to polysomes. Moreover, the intended asRNA produced during AS-PTGS is capped whereas the asRNA produced during S-PTGS derives from 3' maturation of a read-through transcript and is uncapped. Thus, we propose that uncapped asRNA corresponds to the aberrant RNA molecule that is converted to dsRNA by RNA-DEPENDENT RNA POLYMERASE 6 in siRNA-bodies to initiate S-PTGS, whereas capped asRNA must anneal with sense RNA to produce dsRNA that initiate AS-PTGS.

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