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Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010008

Function and Evolution of Nematode RNAi Pathways

1
Institute of Molecular Biology, Ackermannweg 4, 55128 Mainz, Germany
2
Faculty of Biology, Johannes Gutenberg Universität, 55122 Mainz, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs, from an Evolutionary Perspective)
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Abstract

Selfish genetic elements, like transposable elements or viruses, are a threat to genomic stability. A variety of processes, including small RNA-based RNA interference (RNAi)-like pathways, has evolved to counteract these elements. Amongst these, endogenous small interfering RNA and Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathways were implicated in silencing selfish genetic elements in a variety of organisms. Nematodes have several incredibly specialized, rapidly evolving endogenous RNAi-like pathways serving such purposes. Here, we review recent research regarding the RNAi-like pathways of Caenorhabditis elegans as well as those of other nematodes, to provide an evolutionary perspective. We argue that multiple nematode RNAi-like pathways share piRNA-like properties and together form a broad nematode toolkit that allows for silencing of foreign genetic elements. View Full-Text
Keywords: small RNA; piRNA; 22G RNA; 26G RNA; 21U RNA; siRNA; Argonaute; RdRP; Piwi; C. elegans; nematode small RNA; piRNA; 22G RNA; 26G RNA; 21U RNA; siRNA; Argonaute; RdRP; Piwi; C. elegans; nematode
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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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Almeida, M.V.; Andrade-Navarro, M.A.; Ketting, R.F. Function and Evolution of Nematode RNAi Pathways. Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5, 8.

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