Transgenically expressed viral RNA silencing suppressors interfere with microRNA methylation in Arabidopsis

Bin Yu, Elisabeth J. Chapman, Zhiyong Yang, James C. Carrington, Xuemei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations


HEN1-dependent methylation of the 3′-terminal nucleotide is a crucial step in plant microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis. Here we report that several viral RNA silencing suppressors (P1/HC-Pro, p21 and p19) inhibit miRNA methylation. These suppressors have distinct effects on different miRNAs. We also show that miRNA* is methylated in vivo in a suppressor-sensitive manner, suggesting that the viral proteins interfere with miRNA/miRNA* duplexes. p19 and p21 bind both methylated and unmethylated miRNA/miRNA* duplexes in vivo. These findings suggest miRNA/miRNA* as the in vivo substrates for the HEN1 miRNA methyltransferase and raise intriguing possibilities regarding the cellular location of miRNA methylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3117-3120
Number of pages4
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - May 29 2006



  • HEN1
  • Methylation
  • Viral RNA silencing suppressor
  • microRNA/microRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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