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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Sep 4;109(36):14520-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201153109. Epub 2012 Aug 21.

Conserved tyrosine kinase promotes the import of silencing RNA into Caenorhabditis elegans cells.

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


RNA silencing in Caenorhabditis elegans is transmitted between cells by the transport of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). The efficiency of such transmission, however, depends on both the cell type and the environment. Here, we identify systemic RNAi defective-3 (SID-3) as a conserved tyrosine kinase required for the efficient import of dsRNA. Without SID-3, cells perform RNA silencing well but import dsRNA poorly. Upon overexpression of SID-3, cells import dsRNA more efficiently than do wild-type cells and such efficient import of dsRNA requires an intact SID-3 kinase domain. The mammalian homolog of SID-3, activated cdc-42-associated kinase (ACK), acts in many signaling pathways that respond to environmental changes and is known to directly associate with endocytic vesicles, which have been implicated in dsRNA transport. Therefore, our results suggest that the SID-3/ACK tyrosine kinase acts as a regulator of RNA import into animal cells.

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