CEXS-UPF: The new voyage of the 'Argonautes'

CEXS-UPF: The new voyage of the 'Argonautes'

News from CEXS-UPF

Small RNA molecules, which include the so called micro-RNAs (miRNAs), provide a powerful mechanism to regulate gene expression in the cell cytoplasm either by triggering degradation of the messenger RNAs molecules (mRNA) or by inhibiting their translation into proteins. This mechanism, known as post-transcriptional gene silencing, takes place in the cell cytoplasm and has important implications for understanding developmental and disease processes. The miRNAs are guided to their targets by a molecular complex that is made of a group of proteins called Argonautes. These proteins are essential to direct the miRNAs to their mRNA targets, and their structure and role in the post-transcriptional gene silencing has been thoroughly described up to date.

In this work, Eyras and colleagues report that Argonaute proteins also play an important role in gene regulation in the cell nucleus. The published work describes how Argonaute proteins, besides their role in post-transcriptional regulation, can also affect gene expression during transcription, the cell process that makes mRNA from DNA.

More information:

Alló M, Agirre E, Bessonovc S, Bertucci P, Gómez-Acuña L, Buggiano V, Bellora N, Singh B, Petrillo E, Blaustein M, Miñana B, Dujardin G, Pozzi B, Pelisch F, Bechara E, Agafonov D, Srebrow A, Lührmann R, Valcárcel J, Eyras E. , Kornblihtt AR. (2014), "Argonaute-1 binds transcriptional enhancers and controls constitutive and alternative splicing in human cells", PNAS, 14th October.