Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
RNA. 2010 May;16(5):893-903. doi: 10.1261/rna.2122010. Epub 2010 Mar 30.

Dicer's helicase domain is required for accumulation of some, but not all, C. elegans endogenous siRNAs.

Author information

1Department of Biochemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.


Years after the discovery that Dicer is a key enzyme in gene silencing, the role of its helicase domain remains enigmatic. Here we show that this domain is critical for accumulation of certain endogenous small interfering RNAs (endo-siRNAs) in Caenorhabditis elegans. The domain is required for the production of the direct products of Dicer, or primary endo-siRNAs, and consequently affects levels of downstream intermediates, the secondary endo-siRNAs. Consistent with the role of endo-siRNAs in silencing, their loss correlates with an increase in cognate mRNA levels. We find that the helicase domain of Dicer is not necessary for microRNA (miRNA) processing, or RNA interference following exposure to exogenous double-stranded RNA. Comparisons of wild-type and helicase-defective strains using deep-sequencing analyses show that the helicase domain is required by a subset of annotated endo-siRNAs, in particular, those associated with the slightly longer 26-nucleotide small RNA species containing a 5' guanosine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center