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Nature. 2003 Sep 25;425(6956):411-4.

A micrococcal nuclease homologue in RNAi effector complexes.

Author information

1
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Watson School of Biological Sciences, 1 Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, New York 11724, USA.

Abstract

RNA interference (RNAi) regulates gene expression by the cleavage of messenger RNA, by mRNA degradation and by preventing protein synthesis. These effects are mediated by a ribonucleoprotein complex known as RISC (RNA-induced silencing complex). We have previously identified four Drosophila components (short interfering RNAs, Argonaute 2 (ref. 2), VIG and FXR) of a RISC enzyme that degrades specific mRNAs in response to a double-stranded-RNA trigger. Here we show that Tudor-SN (tudor staphylococcal nuclease)--a protein containing five staphylococcal/micrococcal nuclease domains and a tudor domain--is a component of the RISC enzyme in Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila and mammals. Although Tudor-SN contains non-canonical active-site sequences, we show that purified Tudor-SN exhibits nuclease activity similar to that of other staphylococcal nucleases. Notably, both purified Tudor-SN and RISC are inhibited by a specific competitive inhibitor of micrococcal nuclease. Tudor-SN is the first RISC subunit to be identified that contains a recognizable nuclease domain, and could therefore contribute to the RNA degradation observed in RNAi.

PMID:
14508492
DOI:
10.1038/nature01956
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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