Dr. Yijun Qi from Tsinghua University delivered a BEI shizhang Lecture
On June 17th, 2016, Dr. Yijun Qi from Tsinghua University, invited by Prof. Bing Zhu, visited IBP and gave a BEI Shizhang lecture entitled Transcriptional Regulation by ARGONAUTES.
RNA interference (RNAi) is a general phenomenon in eukaryotic organisms and plays important roles in diverse biological processes such as developmental regulation, antiviral defense and chromatin remodeling. The key features of RNAi include the production of small RNAs by Dicer and the formation of Argonaute (AGO) containing RNA-induced silencing complexes (RISCs) that carry out gene silencing at the transcriptional or post-transcriptional level.
Dr. Qi has made a series of important achievements after his returning to China in 2006. His team found that the sorting of small RNAs into Arabidopsis Argonaute complexes is directed by the 5' terminal nucleotide, a microRNA pathway mediating DNA methylation, and a role of small RNA in DNA double strand break repair.
Dr. Qi presented their recent discoveries about small RNAs in the mediating DNA methylation; a Dicer independent AGO family member directs the de novo DNA methylation establishment. Moreover, they found that another AGO family member can bind to the chromatin and promote gene transcription, which is important to plant responses to stimuli.
(From Bing Zhu's group)