- Sakaguchi Y, Suzuki T, Suzuki T, Zhao W, Zhou F, Zhou R, Zuo Z, Zhou X. (2010) Profiling Sex-specific piRNAs in Zebrafish. Genetics 186(4), 1175-85.
Piwi proteins and their partner small RNAs play an essential role in fertility, germ-line stem cell development, and the basic control and evolution of animal genomes. However, little knowledge exists regarding piRNA biogenesis. Utilizing microfluidic chip analysis, we present a quantitative profile of zebrafish piRNAs expressed differentially between testis and ovary. The sex-specific piRNAs are derived from separate loci of repeat elements in the genome. Ovarian piRNAs can be categorized into groups that reach up to 92 members, indicating a sex-specific arrangement of piRNA genes in the genome. Furthermore, precursor piRNAs preferentially form a hairpin structure at the 3’end, which seem to favor the generation of mature sex-specific piRNAs. In addition, the mature piRNAs from both the testis and the ovary are 2′-O-methylated at their 3′ ends.