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    PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are small RNAs bound by PIWI-clade Argonaute proteins that function to silence transposable elements (TEs). Following mouse primordial germ cell (mPGC) specification around E6.25, fetal piRNAs emerge in male gonocytes from E13.5 onward. The in vitro differentiation of mPGC-like cells (mPGCLCs) has raised the possibility of studying the fetal piRNA pathway in greater depth. However, using single-cell RNA-seq and RT-qPCR along mPGCLC differentiation, we find that piRNA pathway factors are not fully expressed in Day 6 mPGCLCs. Moreover, we do not detect piRNAs across a panel of Day 6 mPGCLC lines using small RNA-seq. Our combined efforts highlight that in vitro differentiated Day 6 mPGCLCs do not yet resemble E13.5 or later mouse gonocytes where the piRNA pathway is active. This Matters Arising paper is in response to von Meyenn et al. (2016), published in Developmental Cell. See also the correction by von Meyenn et al. published in this issue. Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Navin B Ramakrishna, Giorgia Battistoni, M Azim Surani, Gregory J Hannon, Eric A Miska. Mouse primordial germ-cell-like cells lack piRNAs. Developmental cell. 2022 Dec 05;57(23):2661-2668.e5

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    PMID: 36473462

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