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Vasa (Vas) is a conserved DEAD-box RNA helicase expressed in germline cells that localizes to a characteristic perinuclear structure called nuage. Previous studies have shown that Vas has diverse functions, with roles in regulating mRNA translation, germline differentiation, pole plasm assembly, and piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA)-mediated transposon(More)
During mitosis, faithful inheritance of genetic material is achieved by chromosome segregation, as mediated by the condensin I and II complexes. Failed chromosome segregation can result in neoplasm formation, infertility, and birth defects. Recently, the germ-line-specific DEAD-box RNA helicase Vasa was demonstrated to promote mitotic chromosome segregation(More)
Nuage is a germline-unique perinuclear structure conserved throughout the animal kingdom. Maelstrom (Mael) is an unusual nuage component, as it is also found in the nucleus. Mael contains a High Mobility Group box, known to mediate DNA binding. We show that Mael nuclear function is required for proper differentiation in the Drosophila germline stem cell(More)
Tudor domain proteins function as molecular adaptors, binding methylated arginine or lysine residues on their substrates to promote physical interactions and the assembly of macromolecular complexes. Here, we discuss the emerging roles of Tudor domain proteins during development, most notably in the Piwi-interacting RNA pathway, but also in other aspects of(More)
Nuage (or commonly known as chromatoid body in mammals) is a conserved germline-specific organelle that has been linked to the Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway. piRNAs are a class of gonadal-specific RNAs that are ~23-29 nucleotides in length and protect genome stability by repressing the expression of deleterious retrotransposons. More recent studies(More)
In Drosophila, Maelstrom is a conserved component of the perinuclear nuage, a germline-unique structure that appears to serve as a site for Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) production to repress deleterious transposons. Maelstrom also functions in the nucleus as a transcriptional regulator to repress the expression of microRNA-7, a process that is essential for(More)
Stable intronic sequence RNAs (sisRNAs) have been found in Xenopus tropicalis, human cell lines, and Epstein-Barr virus; however, the biological significance of sisRNAs remains poorly understood. We identify sisRNAs in Drosophila melanogaster by deep sequencing, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and Northern blotting. We characterize a sisRNA(More)
Upon splicing, introns are rapidly degraded. Hence, RNAs derived from introns are commonly deemed as junk sequences. However, the discoveries of intronic-derived small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs), small Cajal body associated RNAs (scaRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) suggested otherwise. These non-coding RNAs are shown to play various roles in gene regulation. In(More)
The accurate transfer of genetic material in germline cells during the formation of gametes is important for the continuity of the species. However, animal germline cells face challenges from transposons, which seek to spread themselves in the genome. This review focuses on studies in Drosophila melanogaster on how the genome protects itself from such a(More)
Recent studies have discovered both small and long noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) encoded in unexpected places. These ncRNA genes were surprises at the time of their discovery, but many quickly became well-accepted families of functional regulatory RNA species. Even after years of extensive gene annotation studies using high-throughput sequencing technologies, new(More)