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Bies-Etheve, N, Pontier, D, Lahmy, S, Picart, C, Vega, D, Cooke, R and Lagrange, T (2009) RNA-directed DNA methylation requires an AGO4-interacting member of the SPT5 elongation factor family. EMBO Rep. 10:649-54


Recent studies have identified a conserved WG/GW-containing motif, known as the Argonaute (AGO) hook, which is involved in the recruitment of AGOs to distinct components of the eukaryotic RNA silencing pathways. By using this motif as a model to detect new components in plant RNA silencing pathways, we identified SPT5-like, a plant-specific AGO4-interacting member of the nuclear SPT5 (Suppressor of Ty insertion 5) RNA polymerase (RNAP) elongation factor family that is characterized by the presence of a carboxy-terminal extension with more than 40 WG/GW motifs. Knockout SPT5-like mutants show a decrease in the accumulation of several 24-nt RNAs and hypomethylation at different loci revealing an implication in RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM). Here, we propose that SPT5-like emerged in plants as a facultative RNAP elongation factor. Its plant-specific origin and role in RdDM might reflect functional interactions with plant-specific RNA Pols required for RdDM.


PubMed PMC2711833 Online version:10.1038/embor.2009.31


Amino Acid Sequence; Arabidopsis/metabolism; Arabidopsis Proteins/chemistry; Arabidopsis Proteins/metabolism; Argonaute Proteins; Base Sequence; Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone/chemistry; Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone/metabolism; DNA Methylation; Models, Biological; Molecular Sequence Data; Mutation/genetics; Protein Binding; RNA, Plant/metabolism; RNA, Small Interfering/metabolism; Transcriptional Elongation Factors/chemistry; Transcriptional Elongation Factors/metabolism