Research Article

A Cellular Function for the RNA-Interference Enzyme Dicer in the Maturation of the let-7 Small Temporal RNA

Science  03 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5531, pp. 834-838
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062961

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The 21-nucleotide small temporal RNA (stRNA) let-7regulates developmental timing in Caenorhabditis elegans and probably in other bilateral animals. We present in vivo and in vitro evidence that in Drosophila melanogaster a developmentally regulated precursor RNA is cleaved by an RNA interference-like mechanism to produce mature let-7 stRNA. Targeted destruction in cultured human cells of the messenger RNA encoding the enzyme Dicer, which acts in the RNA interference pathway, leads to accumulation of the let-7 precursor. Thus, the RNA interference and stRNA pathways intersect. Both pathways require the RNA-processing enzyme Dicer to produce the active small-RNA component that represses gene expression.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: phillip.zamore{at}

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