Plant Science Innovation, Center for


Date of this Version



Nucleic Acids Research, 2018, Vol. 46, No. 17


Copyright The Author(s) 2018.

Open access

doi: 10.1093/nar/gky591


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that repress gene expression. In plants, the RNase III enzyme Dicer-like (DCL1) processes primary miRNAs (pri-miRNAs) into miRNAs. Here, we show that SMALL1 (SMA1), a homolog of the DEADbox pre-mRNA splicing factor Prp28, plays essential roles in miRNA biogenesis in Arabidopsis. A hypomorphic sma1-1 mutation causes growth defects and reduces miRNA accumulation correlated with increased target transcript levels. SMA1 interacts with the DCL1 complex and positively influences primiRNA processing. Moreover, SMA1 binds the promoter region of genes encoding pri-miRNAs (MIRs) and is required for MIR transcription. Furthermore, SMA1 also enhances the abundance of the DCL1 protein levels through promoting the splicing of the DCL1 pre-mRNAs. Collectively, our data provide new insights into the function of SMA1/Prp28 in regulating miRNA abundance in plants.