JBC News podcast: The N-terminal lobe regulating Argonaute slicer activity: JBC’s best RNA article of 2013

An interview with corresponding author Rachel Green

JBC Best of 2013 logoFeb. 17, 2014 — This podcast is the first in a four-part series on the article named the best of 2013 in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. The Journal’s editors reviewed the more than 4,000 articles published throughout the year and named 22 among the best, one article for each of the Journal’s Affinity categories. An affinity category corresponds to a section of the Journal’s table of contents.


Regulation of Argonaute Slicer Activity by Guide RNA 3′ End Interactions with the N-terminal Lobe

Background: Argonaute proteins associate with siRNAs and miRNAs to repress gene expression.

Results: The N-terminal lobe of Argonaute regulates slicer activity on target mRNAs.

Conclusion: RNA binding interactions with the Argonaute proteins determine whether the target mRNA is regulated through slicer-dependent or -independent pathway.

Significance: The study provides mechanistic understanding of how Argonaute proteins differentially mediate the RNAi and miRNA-mediated repression pathways.

In our first podcast, we talk briefly with Rachel Green, a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is the corresponding author of JBC’s Best Article of the Year in the category of RNA. The article is titled Regulation of Argonaute Slicer Activity by Guide RNA 3′ End Interactions with the N-terminal Lobe, and it was published in March. When asked about the paper’s significance, JBC’s editor-in-chief, Martha Fedor, pointed out that RNA interference and microRNA pathways for gene silencing differ their effects on target RNAs and in the structures of the guide RNAs, such as siRNAs and microRNAs, that initiate each pathway. She said this article provides important insight into how recognition of siRNA and microRNA structures by Argonaute proteins influences downstream effects on target RNAs. Dr. Green talked about her work, the way this article came about, and the direction she sees this research moving.

Click here to read a transcript of this podcast interview.