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Curr Biol. 2002 Sep 3;12(17):1535-40.

PPW-1, a PAZ/PIWI protein required for efficient germline RNAi, is defective in a natural isolate of C. elegans.

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Hubrecht Laboratory, Center for Biomedical Genetics, Uppsalalaan 8, 3584 CT, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


One of the remarkable aspects about RNA interference (RNAi) in Caenorhabditis elegans is that the trigger molecules, dsRNA, can be administered via the animal's food. We assayed whether this feature is a universal property of the species by testing numerous strains that have been isolated from different parts of the globe. We found that one isolate from Hawaii had a defect in RNAi that was specific to the germline and was a result of multiple mutations in a PAZ/PIWI domain-containing protein, which we named PPW-1. Deleting ppw-1 in the canonical C. elegans strain Bristol N2 makes it resistant to feeding of dsRNA directed against germline-expressed genes. PPW-1 belongs to the Argonaute family of proteins, which act in posttranscriptional gene silencing and development, and is homologous to the RNAi gene rde-1. Our data indicate that at least two members of this family are required for complete and effective RNAi in C. elegans.

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