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DEPS-1 is required for piRNA-dependent silencing and PIWI condensate organisation in Caenorhabditis elegans

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Abstract: Membraneless organelles are sites for RNA biology including small non-coding RNA (ncRNA) mediated gene silencing. How small ncRNAs utilise phase separated environments for their function is unclear. We investigated how the PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway engages with the membraneless organelle P granule in Caenorhabditis elegans. Proteomic analysis of the PIWI protein PRG-1 reveals an interaction with the constitutive P granule protein DEPS-1. DEPS-1 is not required for piRNA biogenesis but piRNA-dependent silencing: deps-1 mutants fail to produce the secondary endo-siRNAs required for the silencing of piRNA targets. We identify a motif on DEPS-1 which mediates a direct interaction with PRG-1. DEPS-1 and PRG-1 form intertwining clusters to build elongated condensates in vivo which are dependent on the Piwi-interacting motif of DEPS-1. Additionally, we identify EDG-1 as an interactor of DEPS-1 and PRG-1. Our study reveals how specific protein-protein interactions drive the spatial organisation and piRNA-dependent silencing within membraneless organelles.



Article, /631/136/2442, /631/208/176/2016, /631/208/505, /631/337/384/2054, /82/1, /82/16, /82/80, /82/83, /82/111, /64/11, /38/89, /14/34, /14/35, /14/63, /49/91, article

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Nature Communications

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Nature Publishing Group UK