How selfish retrotransposons are silenced in Drosophila germline and somatic cells

Mikiko C. Siomi, Kuniaki Saito, Haruhiko Siomi

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Transposable elements (TEs) are DNA elements found in the genomes of various organisms. TEs have been highly conserved during evolution, suggesting that they confer advantageous effects to their hosts. However, due to their ability to transpose into virtually any locus, TEs have the ability to generate deleterious mutations in the host genome. In response, a variety of different mechanisms have evolved to mitigate their activities. A main defense mechanism is RNA silencing, which is a gene silencing mechanism triggered by small RNAs. In this review, we address RNA silencing mechanisms that silence retrotransposons, a subset of TEs, and discuss how germline and somatic cells are equipped with different retrotransposon silencing mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2473-2478
Number of pages6
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jul 23


  • Argonaute
  • Drosophila
  • RNA silencing
  • Retrotransposon
  • piRNA
  • siRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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