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The transient Spt4-Spt5 complex as an upstream regulator of non-coding RNAs during development

Owsian, Dawid and Gruchota, Julita and Arnaiz, Olivier and Nowak, Jacek K. (2022) The transient Spt4-Spt5 complex as an upstream regulator of non-coding RNAs during development. Nucleic acids research . ISSN 1362-4962

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkac106


The Spt4-Spt5 complex is conserved and essential RNA polymerase elongation factor. To investigate the role of the Spt4-Spt5 complex in non-coding transcription during development, we used the unicellular model Paramecium tetraurelia. In this organism harboring both germline and somatic nuclei, massive transcription of the entire germline genome takes place during meiosis. This phenomenon starts a series of events mediated by different classes of non-coding RNAs that control developmentally programmed DNA elimination. We focused our study on Spt4, a small zinc-finger protein encoded in P. tetraurelia by two genes expressed constitutively and two genes expressed during meiosis. SPT4 genes are not essential in vegetative growth, but they are indispensable for sexual reproduction, even though genes from both expression families show functional redundancy. Silencing of the SPT4 genes resulted in the absence of double-stranded ncRNAs and reduced levels of scnRNAs – 25 nt-long sRNAs produced from these double-stranded precursors in the germline nucleus. Moreover, we observed that the presence of a germline-specific Spt4-Spt5m complex is necessary for transfer of the scnRNA-binding PIWI protein between the germline and somatic nucleus. Our study establishes that Spt4, together with Spt5m, is essential for expression of the germline genome and necessary for developmental genome rearrangements.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:non-coding RNA, genome rearrangements, sRNA, germline transcription, ciliates
Subjects:Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Divisions:Laboratory of DNA Sequencing and Oligonucleotide Synthesis
ID Code:2138
Deposited By: PhD Jacek Nowak
Deposited On:22 Feb 2022 15:11
Last Modified:22 Feb 2022 15:11

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