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Gene Review

AGO1  -  Argonaute-1

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: Ago, Ago-1, Ago1, CG6671, Dm Ago1, ...
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High impact information on AGO1

  • Insulator activity is decreased when Argonaute genes required for RNAi are mutated, and insulator function is improved when the levels of the Rm62 helicase, involved in double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-mediated silencing and heterochromatin formation, are reduced [1].
  • TTP does not directly bind to miR16 but interacts through association with Ago/eiF2C family members to complex with miR16 and assists in the targeting of ARE. miRNA targeting of ARE, therefore, appears to be an essential step in ARE-mediated mRNA degradation [2].
  • Protein microsequencing reveals that one constituent of this complex is a member of the Argonaute family of proteins, which are essential for gene silencing in Caenorhabditis elegans, Neurospora, and Arabidopsis [3].
  • Argonaute proteins play important yet distinct roles in RNA silencing [4].
  • The association of AGO1 with Dicer-1 and pre-miRNA also suggests that AGO1 is involved in miRNA biogenesis [5].

Biological context of AGO1


Anatomical context of AGO1

  • In this study, we report that members of the Argonaute (Ago) gene family are expressed in restricted of the day 11.5 and 14.5 embryo, including the brain, neural tube, limb, lungs, and hair follicles [11].
  • We show that Ago1 transcripts are enriched in neural structures at these stages, consistent with the reported role of Drosophila Ago1 in the development of the central nervous system [11].
  • In the developing lung, we found expression of Ago1 and Ago2 localized to branching regions, in distal epithelium and mesenchyme, respectively [11].

Other interactions of AGO1

  • Together, these results indicate that the functional overlap between AGO1 and AGO2 in Drosophila is more important than previously thought [6].
  • The results reveal that transcripts differentially expressed in Drosha-depleted cells have highly correlated expression in the AGO1 knockdown and are significantly enriched in predicted and validated miRNA targets [6].
  • Using two different Drosophila melanogaster models, we show that AGO1 is critical for FMRP function in neural development and synaptogenesis [12].
  • Using loss-of-function alleles, we further demonstrate that Ago1 and Ago2 act in a partially redundant manner to control the expression of the segment-polarity gene wingless in the early embryo [9].
  • The piwi gene encoding protein of the Drosophila Argonaute family was shown to be required for the germ stem cells maintenance [13].


  1. RNA interference machinery influences the nuclear organization of a chromatin insulator. Lei, E.P., Corces, V.G. Nat. Genet. (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. Involvement of microRNA in AU-rich element-mediated mRNA instability. Jing, Q., Huang, S., Guth, S., Zarubin, T., Motoyama, A., Chen, J., Di Padova, F., Lin, S.C., Gram, H., Han, J. Cell (2005) [Pubmed]
  3. Argonaute2, a link between genetic and biochemical analyses of RNAi. Hammond, S.M., Boettcher, S., Caudy, A.A., Kobayashi, R., Hannon, G.J. Science (2001) [Pubmed]
  4. Slicer function of Drosophila Argonautes and its involvement in RISC formation. Miyoshi, K., Tsukumo, H., Nagami, T., Siomi, H., Siomi, M.C. Genes Dev. (2005) [Pubmed]
  5. Distinct roles for Argonaute proteins in small RNA-directed RNA cleavage pathways. Okamura, K., Ishizuka, A., Siomi, H., Siomi, M.C. Genes Dev. (2004) [Pubmed]
  6. Genome-wide analysis of mRNAs regulated by Drosha and Argonaute proteins in Drosophila melanogaster. Rehwinkel, J., Natalin, P., Stark, A., Brennecke, J., Cohen, S.M., Izaurralde, E. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. A potential link between transgene silencing and poly(A) tails. Siomi, M.C., Tsukumo, H., Ishizuka, A., Nagami, T., Siomi, H. RNA (2005) [Pubmed]
  8. Developmental roles and molecular characterization of a Drosophila homologue of Arabidopsis Argonaute1, the founder of a novel gene superfamily. Kataoka, Y., Takeichi, M., Uemura, T. Genes Cells (2001) [Pubmed]
  9. Overlapping functions of argonaute proteins in patterning and morphogenesis of Drosophila embryos. Meyer, W.J., Schreiber, S., Guo, Y., Volkmann, T., Welte, M.A., M??ller, H.A. PLoS Genet. (2006) [Pubmed]
  10. mRNA degradation by miRNAs and GW182 requires both CCR4:NOT deadenylase and DCP1:DCP2 decapping complexes. Behm-Ansmant, I., Rehwinkel, J., Doerks, T., Stark, A., Bork, P., Izaurralde, E. Genes Dev. (2006) [Pubmed]
  11. Differential expression of components of the microRNA machinery during mouse organogenesis. Lü, J., Qian, J., Chen, F., Tang, X., Li, C., Cardoso, W.V. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2005) [Pubmed]
  12. Biochemical and genetic interaction between the fragile X mental retardation protein and the microRNA pathway. Jin, P., Zarnescu, D.C., Ceman, S., Nakamoto, M., Mowrey, J., Jongens, T.A., Nelson, D.L., Moses, K., Warren, S.T. Nat. Neurosci. (2004) [Pubmed]
  13. Argonaute protein PIWI controls mobilization of retrotransposons in the Drosophila male germline. Kalmykova, A.I., Klenov, M.S., Gvozdev, V.A. Nucleic Acids Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
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