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Cell. 2001 Jul 13;106(1):23-34.

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

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1
Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
11461699
DOI:
10.1016/s0092-8674(01)00431-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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