The control of Argonaute (AGO) proteins homeostasis in RNA interference is crucial in eukaryotes. However, the molecular actors of the homeostasis of these plant proteins were previously unknown. In this work, researchers from Pascal Genschik’s team explored in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana the mechanism of degradation of the AGO1 protein, a central effector of many RNA interference pathways. Genetic approaches and high-throughput sequencing have revealed the importance of this regulation, which prevents the loading of illegitimate small RNAs into AGO1 and the cleavage of non-target RNAs. This study is published in Cell Reports.