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Genes and mechanisms related to RNA interference regulate expression of the small temporal RNAs that control C. elegans developmental timing.

Cell | Jul 13, 2001

RNAi is a gene-silencing phenomenon triggered by double-stranded (ds) RNA and involves the generation of 21 to 26 nt RNA segments that guide mRNA destruction. In Caenorhabditis elegans, lin-4 and let-7 encode small temporal RNAs (stRNAs) of 22 nt that regulate stage-specific development. Here we show that inactivation of genes related to RNAi pathway genes, a homolog of Drosophila Dicer (dcr-1), and two homologs of rde-1 (alg-1 and alg-2), cause heterochronic phenotypes similar to lin-4 and let-7 mutations. Further we show that dcr-1, alg-1, and alg-2 are necessary for the maturation and activity of the lin-4 and let-7 stRNAs. Our findings suggest that a common processing machinery generates guide RNAs that mediate both RNAi and endogenous gene regulation.

Pubmed ID: 11461699 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Animals, Genetically Modified | Caenorhabditis elegans | DNA Primers | Drosophila | Embryo, Nonmammalian | Female | Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental | Gene Silencing | Genes, Helminth | Genes, Reporter | Genomic Imprinting | Heterozygote | Larva | Luciferases | Phylogeny | Polymerase Chain Reaction | RNA, Helminth

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Associated grants

  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM037706
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: GM07321
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: GM37706
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: GM58800

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