Yuriko Sakaguchi

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Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) consist of a germline-specific group of small RNAs derived from distinct intergenic loci in the genome. piRNAs function in silencing selfish transposable elements through binding with the PIWI subfamily proteins of Argonautes. Here we show that piRNAs in Drosophila are 2'-O-methylated at their 3' ends. Loss of Pimet (piRNA(More)
The wobble modification in tRNAs, 5-methoxycarbonylmethyl-2-thiouridine (mcm(5)s(2)U), is required for the proper decoding of NNR codons in eukaryotes. The 2-thio group confers conformational rigidity of mcm(5)s(2)U by largely fixing the C3'-endo ribose puckering, ensuring stable and accurate codon-anticodon pairing. We have identified five genes in(More)
Small silencing RNAs--small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) or microRNAs (miRNAs)--direct posttranscriptional gene silencing of their mRNA targets as guides for the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). Both siRNAs and miRNAs are born double stranded. Surprisingly, loading these small RNA duplexes into Argonaute proteins, the core components of RISC, requires(More)
In human mitochondria, 10 mRNAs species are generated from a long polycistronic precursor that is transcribed from the heavy chain of mitochondrial DNA, in theory yielding equal copy numbers of mRNA molecules. However, the steady-state levels of these mRNAs differ substantially. Through absolute quantification of mRNAs in HeLa cells, we show that the copy(More)
The steady-state levels of microRNAs (miRNAs) and their activities are regulated by the post-transcriptional processes. It is known that 3' ends of several miRNAs undergo post-dicing adenylation or uridylation. We isolated the liver-specific miR-122 from human hepatocytes and mouse livers. Direct analysis by mass spectrometry revealed that one variant of(More)
Protease-activated receptor-2, a G protein-coupled receptor activated by serine proteases such as trypsin, tryptase and coagulation factors VIIa and Xa, modulates pancreatic and salivary exocrine secretion. In the present study, we examined the distribution of PAR-2 in the pancreas and parotid gland, and characterized the PAR-2-mediated secretion of amylase(More)
Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are a germline-specific class of small noncoding RNAs that are essential for spermatogenesis, but their function and biogenesis remain elusive. Here we report a post-transcriptional modification of mouse piRNAs. Mass spectrometric analysis reveals that the piRNAs tested are fully modified by 2'-O-methylation at their 3'(More)
Cyclodipeptides are secondary metabolites biosynthesized by many bacteria and exhibit a wide array of biological activities. Recently, a new class of small proteins, named cyclodipeptide synthases (CDPS), which are unrelated to the typical nonribosomal peptide synthetases, was shown to generate several cyclodipeptides, using aminoacyl-tRNAs as substrates.(More)
Thermostability of tRNA in thermophilic bacteria is effected by post-transcriptional modifications, such as 2-thioribothymidine (s2T) at position 54. Using a proteomics approach, we identified two genes (ttuA and ttuB; tRNA-two-thiouridine) that are essential for the synthesis of s2T in Thermus thermophilus. Mutation of either gene completely abolishes(More)
Transfer RNA modifications play pivotal roles in protein synthesis. N6-threonylcarbamoyladenosine (t6A) and its derivatives are modifications found at position 37, 3΄-adjacent to the anticodon, in tRNAs responsible for ANN codons. These modifications are universally conserved in all domains of life. t6A and its derivatives have pleiotropic functions in(More)