Drosophila exoribonuclease nibbler is a tumor suppressor, acts within the RNAi machinery and is not enriched in the nuage during early oogenesis

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BACKGROUND: micro RNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of many biological pathways. A plethora of steps are required to form, from a precursor, the mature miRNA that eventually acts on its target RNA to repress its expression or to inhibit translation. Recently, Drosophila nibbler (nbr) has been shown to be an important player in the maturation process of miRNA and piRNA. Nbr is an exoribonuclease which helps to shape the 3' end of miRNAs by trimming the 3' overhang to a final length.

RESULTS: In contrast to previous reports on the localization of Nbr, we report that 1) Nbr is expressed only during a short time of oogenesis and appears ubiquitously localized within oocytes, and that 2) Nbr was is not enriched in the nuage where it was shown to be involved in piwi-mediated mechanisms. To date, there is little information available on the function of nbr for cellular and developmental processes. Due to the fact that nbr mutants are viable with minor deleterious effects, we used the GAL4/UAS over-expression system to define novel functions of nbr. We disclose hitherto unknown functions of nbr 1) as a tumor suppressor and 2) as a suppressor of RNAi. Finally, we confirm that nbr is a suppressor of transposon activity.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that nbr exerts much more widespread functions than previously reported from trimming 3' ends of miRNAs only.


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  • Cell and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Article number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep 29
Publication categoryResearch

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