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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Dec 23;105(51):20386-91. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0810589105. Epub 2008 Dec 10.

RNA interference and retinoblastoma-related genes are required for repression of endogenous siRNA targets in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

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  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 23;108(34):14371.


In Caenorhabditis elegans, a vast number of endogenous short RNAs corresponding to thousands of genes have been discovered recently. This finding suggests that these short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) may contribute to regulation of many developmental and other signaling pathways in addition to silencing viruses and transposons. Here, we present a microarray analysis of gene expression in RNA interference (RNAi)-related mutants rde-4, zfp-1, and alg-1 and the retinoblastoma (Rb) mutant lin-35. We found that a component of Dicer complex RDE-4 and a chromatin-related zinc finger protein ZFP-1, not implicated in endogenous RNAi, regulate overlapping sets of genes. Notably, genes a) up-regulated in the rde-4 and zfp-1 mutants and b) up-regulated in the lin-35(Rb) mutant, but not the down-regulated genes are highly represented in the set of genes with corresponding endogenous siRNAs (endo-siRNAs). Our study suggests that endogenous siRNAs cooperate with chromatin factors, either C. elegans ortholog of acute lymphoblastic leukemia-1 (ALL-1)-fused gene from chromosome 10 (AF10), ZFP-1, or tumor suppressor Rb, to regulate overlapping sets of genes and predicts a large role for RNAi-based chromatin silencing in control of gene expression in C. elegans.

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