The argonaute protein family provides central components for RNA interference (RNAi) and related phenomena in a wide variety of organisms. Here, we isolated, from a Bombyx mori cell, a cDNA clone named BmAGO2 which is homologous to Drosophila ARGONAUTE2 the gene encoding a repressive factor for the recombination repair of extrachromosomal double-strand breaks (DSBs). RNAi-mediated silencing of the BmAGO2 sequence markedly increased homologous recombination (HR) repair of DSBs in episomal DNA, but had no effect on that in chromosomes. Moreover, we found that RNAi for BmAGO2 enhanced the integration of linearized DNA into a silkworm chromosome via HR. These results suggested that BmAgo2 protein plays an indispensable role in the repression of extrachromosomal DSB repair.
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