P-body dynamics revealed by DDX6 protein knockdown via the auxin-inducible degron system

Dev Growth Differ. 2022 Dec;64(9):537-547. doi: 10.1111/dgd.12821. Epub 2022 Nov 22.


The transcriptome dynamically changes via several transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms. RNA-binding proteins contribute to such mechanisms to regulate the cellular status. DDX6 is one such protein and a core component of processing bodies (P-bodies), membrane-less cytosolic substructures where RNA and proteins localize and are functionally regulated. Despite the importance of DDX6, owing to the lack of tightly controlled methods for protein knockdown, it was difficult to assess in high time resolution how its depletion exactly affects the P-body assembly structure. Therefore, we adopted an advanced protein degradation method, the auxin-induced degron (AID) system, to degrade DDX6 acutely in ES cells. By introducing AID-tagged DDX6 and the E3 ligase subunit of OsTIR1 into ES cells, we successfully degraded DDX6 following auxin analog (indole-3-acetic acid, IAA) treatment. The degradation rate of DDX6 was slower than that of the cytosolic reporter protein EGFP but was enhanced by increasing the OsTIR1 dosage. Lastly, we confirmed that a substantial portion of P-bodies disappears around the time of 1 hr after IAA addition consistent with DDX6 depletion detected by western blot. In accordance with this, we detected transcriptome changes by 6 hr after IAA treatment. Therefore, we demonstrated the applicability of the AID method to gain insight into the function of P-bodies and their protein components.

Keywords: DDX6; ES cells; P-body; Protein knockdown.

MeSH terms

  • Indoleacetic Acids / pharmacology
  • Processing Bodies*
  • Proteolysis
  • RNA*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins


  • RNA
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Indoleacetic Acids