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Jakob, Leonhard; Treiber, Thomas; Treiber, Nora; Gust, Alexander; Kramm, Kevin; Hansen, Kerrin; Stotz, Mathias; Wankerl, Ludwig; Herzog, Franz; Hannus, Stefan; Grohmann, Dina; Meister, Gunter (2016): Structural and functional insights into the fly microRNA biogenesis factor Loquacious. In: Rna, Vol. 22, No. 3: pp. 383-396
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In the microRNA (miRNA) pathway, Dicer processes precursors to mature miRNAs. For efficient processing, double-stranded RNA-binding proteins support Dicer proteins. In flies, Loquacious (Logs) interacts with Dicer1 (dmDcr1) to facilitate miRNA processing. Here, we have solved the structure of the third double-stranded RNA-binding domain (dsRBD) of Logs and define specific structural elements that interact with dmDcr1. In addition, we show that the linker preceding dsRBD3 contributes significantly to dmDcr1 binding. Furthermore, our structural work demonstrates that the third dsRBD of Logs forms homodimers. Mutations in the dimerization interface abrogate dmDcr1 interaction. Logs, however, binds to dmDcr1 as a monomer using the identified dimerization surface, which suggests that Loqs might form dimers under conditions where dmDcr1 is absent or not accessible. Since critical sequence elements are conserved, we suggest that dimerization might be a general feature of dsRBD proteins in gene silencing.