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JST Press Release

15th October 2012
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
5-3, Yonbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8666
URL http://www.jst.go.jp/EN/index.html

Molecular mechanism of the biogenesis of small RNAs that protect the genome from invading genetic elements

PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are small RNAs that silence transposable elements and maintain genome integrity in animal germ lines. Here we show that a Zuc protein is an endoribonuclease essential for piRNA biogenesis and transposon silencing. Zuc is conserved among animals, and loss-of-function mutations in zuc cause infertility in mice. Our results may help to elucidate the molecular mechanism of human infertility.

Researcher Information

JST CREST Research Area “The Creation of Basic Medical Technologies to Clarify and Control the Mechanisms Underlying Chronic Inflammation”,

Research Theme: “Structural basis for the pathogenic disease mechanisms caused by chronic inflammation”

Journal Information

Published in the scientific journal “Nature”

Hiroshi Nishimasu,Hirotsugu Ishizu,Kuniaki Saito,Satoshi Fukuhara,Miharu K. Kamatani,Luc Bonnefond,Naoki Matsumoto,Tomohiro Nishizawa,Keita Nakanaga,Junken Aoki,Ryuichiro Ishitani,Haruhiko Siomi,Mikiko C. Siomi & Osamu Nureki

“Structure and function of Zucchini endoribonuclease in piRNA biogenesis”
Nature(2012)doi:10.1038 / nature11509

doi: 10.1038/nature11509


[About Research]
Osamu Nureki
Professor, Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo

[About Program]
Tetsuya Ishii
Life Innovation Group, Department of Innovation Research,
Japan Science and Technology Agency


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