RNA systems biology is marked by a myriad of cellular processes mediated by small and long non-coding RNAs. Small non-coding RNAs include siRNAs (small interfering RNAs), miRNAs (microRNAs), tRFs(tRNA derived fragments), and piRNAs (PIWI-interacting RNAs). piRNAs are vital for the maintenance of the germ-line integrity and repress the transposons either transcriptionally or post-transcriptionally. Studies based on model organisms have shown that defects in the piRNA pathway exhibit impaired gametogenesis and loss of fertility. piRNA biogenesis is marked by transcription of precursor molecules and their subsequent processing in the cytoplasm to generate mature piRNAs. Their biogenesis is unique and complex, which involves non-canonical transcription and self-amplification mechanisms such as the ping-pong cycle. piRNA biogenesis is different in somatic and germ cells and involves the role of cytoplasmic granules in addition to mitochondria. In this review, we discuss the biogenesis and maturation of piRNAs in various cytoplasmic granules such as Yb and nuage bodies. Also, we review the role of P bodies, stress granules, and P granules, and membrane-bound compartments such as mitochondria and exosomes in piRNA biogenesis.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.