Argonautes are central and common components of crucial effectors of RNA silencing pathways. Although earlier steps in these pathways, such as small RNA biogenesis and their loading into AGO, have been quite well described, our knowledge on regulation of the action of AGO and their partners is still poor. Recent breakthroughs have highlighted the existence in many eukaryotes of an evolutionarily conserved motif, the Ago-hook, in factors implicated in AGO action. Furthermore, it has been shown that certain plant pathogen proteins have co-opted the Ago-hook as a means of evasion of plant defense systems. Here we discuss the roles and properties of Ago-hook proteins in divergent RNAi-related pathways.
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