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A Prokaryotic Twist on Argonaute Function

Institute of Molecular Medicine, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, University of Lübeck, 23538 Lübeck, Germany
Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie-NanoBioSciences, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Hans-Sommer-Strasse 10, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Hans-Peter Klenk, Michael W. W. Adams and Roger A. Garrett
Life 2015, 5(1), 538-553;
Received: 21 December 2014 / Accepted: 5 February 2015 / Published: 16 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaea: Evolution, Physiology, and Molecular Biology)
PDF [961 KB, uploaded 14 May 2015]


Argonaute proteins can be found in all three domains of life. In eukaryotic organisms, Argonaute is, as the functional core of the RNA-silencing machinery, critically involved in the regulation of gene expression. Despite the mechanistic and structural similarities between archaeal, bacterial and eukaryotic Argonaute proteins, the biological function of bacterial and archaeal Argonautes has remained elusive. This review discusses new findings in the field that shed light on the structure and function of Argonaute. We especially focus on archaeal Argonautes when discussing the details of the structural and dynamic features in Argonaute that promote substrate recognition and cleavage, thereby revealing differences and similarities in Argonaute biology. View Full-Text
Keywords: Argonaute; archaeal; interference, guide strand Argonaute; archaeal; interference, guide strand

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Willkomm, S.; Zander, A.; Gust, A.; Grohmann, D. A Prokaryotic Twist on Argonaute Function. Life 2015, 5, 538-553.

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