TitleBiochemical requirements for two Dicer-like activities from wheat germ.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsShivaprasad PV, Hohn T, Akbergenov R
JournalPLoS One
Date Published2015

RNA silencing pathways were first discovered in plants. Through genetic analysis, it has been established that the key silencing components called Dicer-like (DCL) genes have been shown to cooperatively process RNA substrates of multiple origin into distinct 21, 22 and 24 nt small RNAs. However, only few detailed biochemical analysis of the corresponding complexes has been carried out in plants, mainly due to the large unstable complexes that are hard to obtain or reconstitute in heterologous systems. Reconstitution of activity needs thorough understanding of all protein partners in the complex, something that is still an ongoing process in plant systems. Here, we use biochemical analysis to uncover properties of two previously identified native dicer-like activities from wheat germ. We find that standard wheat germ extract contains Dicer-like enzymes that convert double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into two classes of small interfering RNAs of 21 and 24 nt in size. The 21 nt dicing activity, likely an siRNA producing complex known as DCL4, is 950 kDa-1.2 mDa in size and is highly unstable during purification processes but has a rather vast range for activity. On the contrary, the 24 nt dicing complex, likely the DCL3 activity, is relatively stable and comparatively smaller in size, but has stricter conditions for effective processing of dsRNA substrates. While both activities could process completely complementary dsRNA albeit with varying abilities, we show that DCL3-like 24 nt producing activity is equally good in processing incompletely complementary RNAs.

Alternate JournalPLoS ONE
PubMed ID25615604
PubMed Central IDPMC4304710