A highly coordinated complex known as the microprocessor precisely processes primary transcripts of MIRNA genes into mature miRNAs. In plants, the microprocessor minimally consists of three components: Dicer-like protein 1 (DCL1), HYPONASTIC LEAF 1 (HYL1), and SERRATE (SE). To precisely modulate miRNA maturation, the microprocessor cooperates with at least 12 proteins in plants. In addition, we here show the involvement of a novel gene, HYL1-interacting GIY-YIG-like endonuclease (HIGLE). The encoded protein has a GIY-YIG domain that is generally found within a class of homing endonucleases. HIGLE directly interacts with the microprocessor components HYL1 and SE. Unlike the functions of other GIY-YIG endonucleases, the catalytic core of HIGLE has both DNase and RNase activities that sufficiently processes miRNA precursors into short fragments in vitro.
Keywords: miRNA precursor processing; microRNA; microprocessor; structure-specific endonuclease.
© 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.