Yuka W. Iwasaki

Learn More
PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are a class of small RNAs that are 24-31 nucleotides in length. They associate with PIWI proteins, which constitute a germline-specific subclade of the Argonaute family, to form effector complexes known as piRNA-induced silencing complexes, which repress transposons via transcriptional or posttranscriptional mechanisms and(More)
PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) biogenesis consists of two sequential steps: primary piRNA processing and the ping-pong cycle that depends on reciprocal Slicer-mediated RNA cleavage by PIWI proteins. However, the molecular functions of the factors involved remain elusive. Here, we show that RNAs cleaved by a Bombyx mori PIWI, Siwi, remain bound to the protein(More)
The Piwi-piRNA (PIWI-interacting RNA) complex (Piwi-piRISC) in Drosophila ovarian somatic cells represses transposons transcriptionally to maintain genome integrity; however, the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. Here, we reveal that DmGTSF1, a Drosophila homolog of gametocyte-specific factor 1 (GTSF1) (which is required for transposon silencing in(More)
Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) suppress transposon activity in animal germ cells. In the Drosophila ovary, primary Aubergine (Aub)-bound antisense piRNAs initiate the ping-pong cycle to produce secondary AGO3-bound sense piRNAs. This increases the number of secondary Aub-bound antisense piRNAs that can act to destroy transposon mRNAs. Here we show that(More)
PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) direct Piwi to repress transposons and maintain genome integrity in Drosophila ovarian somatic cells. piRNA maturation and association with Piwi occur at perinuclear Yb bodies, the centers of piRNA biogenesis. Here, we show that piRNA intermediates arising from the piRNA cluster flamenco (flam) localize to perinuclear foci(More)
Small RNAs are now known to be major regulatory factors of gene expression. Emerging methods based on deep-sequencing have enabled the analysis of small RNA expression in a high-throughput manner, leading to the identification of large numbers of small RNAs in various species. Moreover, profiling small RNA data together with transcriptome data enables(More)
In Drosophila germ cells, PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are amplified through a PIWI slicer-dependent feed-forward loop termed the ping-pong cycle, yielding secondary piRNAs. However, the detailed mechanism remains poorly understood, largely because an ex vivo model system amenable to biochemical analyses has not been available. Here, we show that(More)
Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) has been implicated in the development of insulin resistance associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. We have now examined the potential of pharmacological targeting of the ERK pathway with MEK (ERK kinase) inhibitors (PD184352 and PD0325901) for the treatment of obesity-associated insulin resistance.(More)
Proper regulation of gene expression during cell cycle entry ensures the successful completion of proliferation, avoiding risks such as carcinogenesis. The microRNA (miRNA) network is an emerging molecular system regulating multiple genetic pathways. We demonstrate here that the global elevation of miRNAs is critical for proper control of gene expression(More)
Persistent colonization of the gastric mucosa by Helicobacter pylori (Hp) elicits chronic inflammation and aberrant epithelial cell proliferation, which increases the risk of gastric cancer. Here we examine the ability of microRNAs to modulate gastric cell proliferation in response to persistent Hp infection and find that epigenetic silencing of miR-210(More)