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Mice deficient for a small cluster of Piwi-interacting RNAs implicate Piwi-interacting RNAs in transposon control.

The mammalian testis expresses a class of small noncoding RNAs that interact with mammalian PIWI proteins. In mice, the PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) partner with mammalian PIWI proteins, PIWIL1 and PIWIL2, also known as MIWI and MILI, to maintain transposon silencing in the germline genome. Here, we demonstrate that inactivation of Nct1/2, two noncoding RNAs encoding piRNAs, leads to derepression of LINE-1 (L1) but does not affect mouse viability, spermatogenesis, testicular gene expression, or fertility. These findings indicate that piRNAs from a cluster on chromosome 2 are necessary to maintain transposon silencing.

Pubmed ID: 18401007


  • Xu M
  • You Y
  • Hunsicker P
  • Hori T
  • Small C
  • Griswold MD
  • Hecht NB


Biology of reproduction

Publication Data

July 23, 2008

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: HD 28832
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: R01 HD010808
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: R01 HD035494
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: R01 HD035494-09

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Silencing
  • Long Interspersed Nucleotide Elements
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Multigene Family
  • Mutation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Reproduction
  • Testis