Argonaute proteins help fine-tune gene expression

27 October, 2019

​A nuclear protein bound to RNA molecules affects chromatin structure and gene expression.

The finding adds to the understanding of a gene silencing pathway called RNA interference (RNAi). The discovery of this pathway in the late 1990s resulted in the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine being awarded to American scientists, Craig Mello and Andrew Fire.

Argonaute proteins (AGO) that are bound to RNA are known to have a role in RNA interference inside the cytoplasm. But, despite their known presence in the nucleus, the AGO’s role there is not clear.

Now, environmental epigeneticist, Valerio Orlando, together with his team at KAUST and colleagues in Italy and Japan, have uncovered the role of Argonaute proteins in the nucleus, using a combination of genome-wide approaches.

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Image: Valerio Orlando (left), Muhammad Shuaib (right) and colleagues used a combination of genome-wide approaches to uncover the role of Argonaute proteins in the nucleus.
© 2019 KAUST