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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jun 19;104(25):10565-70. Epub 2007 Jun 11.

Caenorhabditis elegans SID-2 is required for environmental RNA interference.

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


In plants and in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, an RNAi signal can trigger gene silencing in cells distant from the site where silencing is initiated. In plants, this signal is known to be a form of dsRNA, and the signal is most likely a form of dsRNA in C. elegans as well. Furthermore, in C. elegans, dsRNA present in the environment or expressed in ingested bacteria is sufficient to trigger RNAi (environmental RNAi). Ingestion and soaking delivery of dsRNA has also been described for other invertebrates. Here we report the identification and characterization of SID-2, an intestinal luminal transmembrane protein required for environmental RNAi in C. elegans. SID-2, when expressed in the environmental RNAi defective species Caenorhabditis briggsae, confers environmental RNAi.

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