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Science. 2003 Sep 12;301(5639):1545-7.

Transport of dsRNA into cells by the transmembrane protein SID-1.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


RNA interference (RNAi) spreads systemically in plants and nematodes to silence gene expression distant from the site of initiation. We previously identified a gene, sid-1, essential for systemic but not cell-autonomous RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we demonstrate that SID-1 is a multispan transmembrane protein that sensitizes Drosophila cells to soaking RNAi with a potency that is dependent on double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) length. Further analyses revealed that SID-1 enables passive cellular uptake of dsRNA. These data indicate that systemic RNAi in C. elegans involves SID-1-mediated intercellular transport of dsRNA.

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