Biogenesis of Y RNA-derived small RNAs is independent of the microRNA pathway

FEBS Lett. 2012 Apr 24;586(8):1226-30. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2012.03.026. Epub 2012 Mar 23.


Y RNAs are approximately 100 nucleotide long conserved cytoplasmic non-coding RNAs, which produce smaller RNA fragments during apoptosis. Here we show that these smaller RNA molecules are also produced in non-stressed cells and in a range of human cancerous and non-cancerous cell types. Recent reports have speculated that the cleavage products of Y RNAs enter the microRNA pathway. We tested this hypothesis and found that Y5 and Y3 RNA fragments are Dicer independent, they are in different complexes than microRNAs and that they are not co-immunoprecipitated with Ago2. Therefore we conclude that Y RNA fragments do not enter the microRNA pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Argonaute Proteins / metabolism
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / physiology
  • HCT116 Cells
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism*
  • Ribonuclease III / physiology
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • AGO2 protein, human
  • Argonaute Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • DICER1 protein, human
  • Ribonuclease III
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases