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RNA Polymerase IV Directs Silencing of Endogenous DNA

Science  01 Apr 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5718, pp. 118-120
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106910

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Abstract

Plants encode subunits for a fourth RNA polymerase (Pol IV) in addition to the well-known DNA-dependent RNA polymerases I, II, and III. By mutation of the two largest subunits (NRPD1a and NRPD2), we show that Pol IV silences certain transposons and repetitive DNA in a short interfering RNA pathway involving RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 2 and Dicer-like 3. The existence of this distinct silencing polymerase may explain the paradoxical involvement of an RNA silencing pathway in maintenance of transcriptional silencing.

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