The DEAD-box helicase RCF1 plays roles in miRNA biogenesis and RNA splicing in Arabidopsis

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Department of Biological Sciences


RCF1 is a highly conserved DEAD-box RNA helicase found in yeast, plants and mammals. Studies about the functions of RCF1 in plants are limited. Here we uncovered the functions of RCF1 in Arabidopsis thaliana as a player in pri-miRNA processing and splicing, as well as in pre-mRNA splicing. A mutant with miRNA biogenesis defects was isolated and the defect was traced to a recessive point mutation in RCF1 (rcf1-4). We show that RCF1 promotes D-body formation and facilitates the interaction between pri-miRNAs and HYL1. Finally, we show that intron-containing pri-miRNAs and pre-mRNAs exhibit a global splicing defect in rcf1-4. Together, this work uncovers roles for RCF1 in miRNA biogenesis and RNA splicing in Arabidopsis.

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The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology