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Pachytene piRNAs as beneficial regulators or a defense system gone rogue

Pachytene Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are abundant small non-coding RNAs expressed in mammalian germ lines. A new study indicates that, among the diverse pool of piRNA sequences, a small number act as highly selective guides that induce cleavage of coding and non-coding transcripts, thus promoting piRNA generation and regulating gene expression.

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Fig. 1: Toxin–antitoxin systems in bacteria and piRNA-guided processes in Drosophila and mouse germ lines.


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Correspondence to Alexei A. Aravin.

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Aravin, A.A. Pachytene piRNAs as beneficial regulators or a defense system gone rogue. Nat Genet 52, 644–645 (2020).

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