Transport of dsRNA into Cells by the Transmembrane Protein SID-1

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Science  12 Sep 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5639, pp. 1545-1547
DOI: 10.1126/science.1087117

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RNA interference (RNAi) spreads systemically in plants and nematodes to silence gene expression distant from the site of initiation. We previously identified a gene, sid-1, essential for systemic but not cell-autonomous RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we demonstrate that SID-1 is a multispan transmembrane protein that sensitizes Drosophila cells to soaking RNAi with a potency that is dependent on double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) length. Further analyses revealed that SID-1 enables passive cellular uptake of dsRNA. These data indicate that systemic RNAi in C. elegans involves SID-1–mediated intercellular transport of dsRNA.

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