Diverse small RNA-directed silencing pathways in plants

Zhixin Xie, Xiaopeng Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Small silencing RNAs of 21- to 24-nucleotide (nt) in length are essential regulatory components expressed in most eukaryotic organisms. These regulatory small RNAs are produced through pathways that involve several evolutionarily conserved protein families, including DICER (DCR) or DICER-LIKE (DCL), ARGONAUTE (AGO), and RNA-DEPENDENT RNA POLYMERASE (RDR). Plants possess multiple functional DCL, RDR, and AGO proteins. Genetic analyses in themodel plantArabidopsis thaliana have revealedmultiple smallRNA pathways, each utilizing a distinct set of RNA silencing factors. In this short review, mainly based on thework done on A. thaliana, we give a brief overviewon themultiple smallRNA-directed silencing pathways inplants,which includes the biogenesis and function of microRNAs (miRNAs), trans-acting siRNAs (ta-siRNAs), natural cis-antisense transcripts-associated siRNAs (nat-siRNAs), and heterochromatic siRNAs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-724
JournalBiochim Biophys Acta
StatePublished - Mar 4 2008


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