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