Bioinformatic Description of tRNA Fragments and their Targets in Human AGO2


tRNA-fragments (tRFs) have recently been shown to play a regulatory role similar to miRNAs and have been linked to cancer, neurodegeneration and transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. tRFs are loaded into argonaute proteins (AGO) and incorporated into RISC complexes as guides for identifying target RNAs, suggesting a role of tRFs as similar to that of miRNAs in RNA interference (RNAi) (Anderson 2014). Four AGO proteins are expressed in humans and differential loading of guide miRNAs and tRFs has been observed previously, with AGO2 the least favored for tRF loading (Kumar 2014). To this end, we make a detailed analysis of the tRF guides and their targets in AGO2 for later comparison with AGO4 behavior (Karaiskos 2015).