HIGLE is a bifunctional homing endonuclease that directly interacts with HYL1 and SERRATE in Arabidopsis thaliana

FEBS Lett. 2017 May;591(10):1383-1393. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.12628. Epub 2017 May 4.


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.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / chemistry
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Endodeoxyribonucleases / chemistry
  • Endodeoxyribonucleases / genetics
  • Endodeoxyribonucleases / metabolism*
  • Endonucleases / chemistry
  • Endonucleases / genetics
  • Endonucleases / metabolism*
  • Endoribonucleases / chemistry
  • Endoribonucleases / genetics
  • Endoribonucleases / metabolism*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Domains
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • HYL1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • SE protein, Arabidopsis
  • Endodeoxyribonucleases
  • Endonucleases
  • Endoribonucleases
  • HIGLE protein, Arabidopsis