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Argonaute catalytic activity is required for maternal mRNA clearance in embryos

Abstract : Argonaute proteins and their interacting small RNAs play a key role in regulating complementary mRNA targets during animal development. Here, we investigate a novel and essential function of the catalytically active Argonaute protein CSR-1 in maternal mRNA degradation during early embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that CSR-1 interacts with endogenous small RNAs antisense to hundreds of cleared maternal mRNAs in embryos, and preferentially cleaves mRNAs no longer engaged in translation. The depletion of CSR-1 during maternal to zygotic transition leads to embryonic lethality in a catalytic-dependent manner and impairs the degradations of its embryonic mRNA targets. Given the conservation of Argonaute catalytic activity, we propose that a similar mechanism operate to clear maternal mRNAs during maternal to zygotic transition across species.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 5:24:42 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - 4:28:03 PM


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Piergiuseppe Quarato, Meetali Singh, Eric Cornes, Blaise Maxime Li, Loan Bourdon, et al.. Argonaute catalytic activity is required for maternal mRNA clearance in embryos. 2020. ⟨pasteur-02626442⟩



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