Circulating Microvesicles Contain Critical Elements of the RISC Complex


Kirk M. Brown, Meredith P. Millis, Shannon E. Smith, Kim Yeatts, Zhenyu Zhong, Adam Stark, Yuka Kojima, Julie Garcia, David B. Spetzler


Circulating microvesicles (cMV) are small, membrane-bound structures that are shed from cells and are thought to be involved in intracellular communication. It has been discovered that cMVs contain microRNAs (miRs), which are short RNA molecules known to regulate gene expression. In cells, miRs must be bound to an Argonaute (Ago) protein as part of the RNA-Induced Silencing Complex (RISC) in order to regulate mRNA translation. The protein GW182 is a functional partner of Ago, and is another important component of some types of RISC complexes. We investigate here whether miRs present in cMV are bound to Ago protein as a RISC complex, and whether GW182 is associated with Ago and cMV from human plasma and cultured cells.

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