Plays a central role during spermatogenesis by repressing transposable elements and prevent their mobilization, which is essential for the germline integrity. Plays an essential role in meiotic differentiation of spermatocytes, germ cell differentiation and in self-renewal of spermatogonial stem cells. Its presence in oocytes suggests that it may participate in similar functions during oogenesis in females. Acts via the piRNA metabolic process, which mediates the repression of transposable elements during meiosis by forming complexes composed of piRNAs and Piwi proteins and govern the methylation and subsequent repression of transposons. Directly binds piRNAs, a class of 24 to 30 nucleotide RNAs that are generated by a Dicer-independent mechanism and are primarily derived from transposons and other repeated sequence elements. Associates with primary piRNAs in the cytoplasm and is required for PIWIL4/MIWI2 nuclear localization and association with secondary piRNAs antisense. The piRNA process acts upstream of known mediators of DNA methylation. Participates in a piRNA amplification loop. Besides their function in transposable elements repression, piRNAs are probably involved in other processes during meiosis such as translation regulation. Indirectly modulate expression of genes such as PDGFRB, SLC2A1, ITGA6, GJA7, THY1, CD9 and STRA8. Inhibits tumor cell growth when repressed. When overexpressed, acts as an oncogene by inhibition of apoptosis and promotion of proliferation in tumors.
Interacts with DDX4, MAEL, EIF3A, EIF4E, EIF4G, PRMT5 and WDR77. Associates with EIF4E- and EIF4G-containing m7G cap-binding complexes. Interacts (when methylated on arginine residues) with TDRD1.
Cytoplasm. Note: Present in chromatoid body. Probable component of the meiotic nuage, also named P granule, a germ-cell-specific organelle required to repress transposon during meiosis.
Expressed in adult testis and in most tumors.
Arginine methylation by PRMT5 is required for the interaction with Tudor domain-containing protein TDRD1 and subsequent localization to the meiotic nuage, also named P granule.
Belongs to the argonaute family. Piwi subfamily.
Contains 1 PAZ domain.
Contains 1 Piwi domain.