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Genes Dev. 2003 Feb 15;17(4):443-8.

Identification of genes that protect the C. elegans genome against mutations by genome-wide RNAi.

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  • 1Hubrecht Laboratory, Center for Biomedical Genetics, 3584 CT, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


An RNA interference (RNAi)-based genome-wide screen was performed to detect genes that contribute to genome stability in somatic cells of Caenorhabditis elegans. We identified 61 such genes; these also affect spontaneous mutagenesis in the germ line. Their sequence suggests a role in DNA repair and/or replication, in chromatin remodeling, or in cell cycle control; there are also many novel genes that are highly conserved from yeast to human. Because known mutator genes are causally involved in many hereditary and sporadic human cancers, it is likely that some of these new mutators are equally relevant in cancer etiology.

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