Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Published in PNAS (2008) 105(29): 10073-10078. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0804218105


Copyright © 2008 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA


Proteins containing the forkhead-associated domain (FHA) are known to act in biological processes such as DNA damage repair, protein degradation, and signal transduction. Here we report that DAWDLE (DDL), an FHA domain-containing protein in Arabidopsis, acts in the biogenesis of miRNAs and endogenous siRNAs. Unlike mutants of genes known to participate in the processing of miRNA precursors, such as dcl1, hyponastic leaves1, and serrate, ddl mutants show reduced levels of pri-miRNAs as well as mature miRNAs. Promoter activity of MIR genes, however, is not affected by ddl mutations. DDL is an RNA binding protein and is able to interact with DCL1. In addition, we found that SNIP1, the human homolog of DDL, is involved in miRNA biogenesis and interacts with Drosha. Therefore, we uncovered an evolutionarily conserved factor in miRNA biogenesis. We propose that DDL participates in miRNA biogenesis by facilitating DCL1 to access or recognize pri-miRNAs.