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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Nov 29;102(48):17360-5. Epub 2005 Nov 15.

Negative regulation of nuclear divisions in Caenorhabditis elegans by retinoblastoma and RNA interference-related genes.

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  • 1Center for Cancer Research, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Short RNA regulatory molecules, microRNAs, and short interfering RNAs participate in a range of developmental gene networks by base-pairing with their target sequences. Consistent with these findings, genes required for the biogenesis and function of short interfering RNAs and microRNAs, dicer (dcr-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans) and argonaute homologs, are essential for development in diverse organisms, including C. elegans. We demonstrate that genes required for the function of short RNAs synergize with the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor homolog lin-35 in negative regulation of the nuclear divisions in the intestine of C. elegans. The level of cyclin E (cye-1) expression is critical for nuclear divisions in the intestine and is elevated in double mutants in lin-35 and RNA interference pathway genes. We propose that RNA interference-related pathways cooperate with retinoblastoma in transcriptional repression of endogenous genes, an example being cyclin E.

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