RNAi in Plants: An Argonaute-Centered View.

Argonaute (AGO) family proteins are effectors of RNAi in eukaryotes. AGOs bind small RNAs and use them as guides to silence target genes or transposable elements at the transcriptional or posttranscriptional level. Eukaryotic AGO proteins share common structural and biochemical properties and function through conserved core mechanisms in RNAi pathways, yet plant AGOs have evolved specialized and diversified functions. This Review covers the general features of AGO proteins and highlights recent progress toward our understanding of the mechanisms and functions of plant AGOs.