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Nucleic Acids Res. 2003 Aug 1;31(15):4481-9.

Double-stranded RNA-mediated gene silencing in fission yeast.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.


Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) can specifically inhibit gene expression in a variety of organisms by invoking post-transcriptional degradation of homologous mRNA. Here we show that dsRNA-mediated gene regulation also occurs in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We present evidence that: (i) reporter gene silencing is significantly enhanced when additional non-coding sense RNA is co-expressed with antisense RNA; (ii) expression of a panhandle RNA also silences target gene expression; (iii) expression of dsRNA is associated with siRNAs; (iv) a novel host-encoded factor which enhances antisense RNA gene silencing also enhances panhandle RNA-mediated gene inhibition. Both the exogenously introduced lacZ and c-myc genes are shown to be susceptible to dsRNA- mediated gene silencing in this model. Taken together, these data indicate that RNA-mediated gene silencing can occur through a RNAi-like mechanism in fission yeast.

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