In Drosophila germ cells, PIWI-interacting RNAs (piR-NAs) are amplified through a PIWI slicer-dependent feed-forward loop termed the ping-pong cycle, yielding secondary piRNAs. However, the detailed mechanism remains poorly understood, largely because an ex vivo model system amenable to biochemical analyses has not been available. Here, we show that CRISPR-mediated loss of function of lethal (3) malignant brain tumor [l(3)mbt] leads to ectopic activation of the germ-specific pingpong cycle in ovarian somatic cells. Perinuclear foci resembling nuage, the ping-pong center, appeared following l(3)mbt mutation. This activation of the ping-pong machinery in cultured cells will greatly facilitate elucidation of the mechanism underlying secondary piRNA biogenesis in Drosophila.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology