"Methylation as a crucial step in plant microRNA biogenesis."

Yu B, Yang Z, Li J, Minakhina S, Yang M, Padgett RW, Steward R, Chen X



Published 2005-01-11 in Science volume 307 .

Pubmed ID: 15705854
DOI identifier: -

Abstract:
Methylation on the base or the ribose is prevalent in eukaryotic ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) and is thought to be crucial for ribosome biogenesis and function. Artificially introduced 2'-O-methyl groups in small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) can stabilize siRNAs in serum without affecting their activities in RNA interference in mammalian cells. Here, we show that plant microRNAs (miRNAs) have a naturally occurring methyl group on the ribose of the last nucleotide. Whereas methylation of rRNAs depends on guide RNAs, the methyltransferase protein HEN1 is sufficient to methylate miRNA/miRNA* duplexes. Our studies uncover a new and crucial step in plant miRNA biogenesis and have profound implications in the function of miRNAs.


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Last modification of this entry: Sept. 6, 2012