MVH in piRNA processing and gene silencing of retrotransposons

Satomi Kuramochi-Miyagawa, Toshiaki Watanabe, Kengo Gotoh, Kana Takamatsu, Shinichiro Chuma, Kanako Kojima-Kita, Yusuke Shiromoto, Noriko Asada, Atsushi Toyoda, Asao Fujiyama, Yasushi Totoki, Tatsuhiro Shibata, Tohru Kimura, Norio Nakatsuji, Toshiaki Noce, Hiroyuki Sasaki, Toru Nakano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Citations (Scopus)


VASA is an evolutionarily conserved RNA helicase essential for germ cell development. The mouse PIWI family proteins MILI and MIWI2 are involved in production of Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) in fetal male germ cells through a ping-pong amplification cycle. Expression of retrotransposons is elevated in MILI- and MIWI2-deficient male germ cells due to defective de novo DNA methylation, which is presumably caused by impaired piRNA expression. Here, we report that essentially the same abnormalities are observed in MVH (mouse VASA homolog)-deficient mice. Comprehensive analysis of piRNAs in MVH-deficient fetal male germ cells showed that MVH plays crucial roles in the early phase of the ping-pong amplification cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-892
Number of pages6
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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