Research Article

RNAi in Budding Yeast

Science  23 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5952, pp. 544-550
DOI: 10.1126/science.1176945

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Abstract

RNA interference (RNAi), a gene-silencing pathway triggered by double-stranded RNA, is conserved in diverse eukaryotic species but has been lost in the model budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here, we show that RNAi is present in other budding yeast species, including Saccharomyces castellii and Candida albicans. These species use noncanonical Dicer proteins to generate small interfering RNAs, which mostly correspond to transposable elements and Y′ subtelomeric repeats. In S. castellii, RNAi mutants are viable but have excess Y′ messenger RNA levels. In S. cerevisiae, introducing Dicer and Argonaute of S. castellii restores RNAi, and the reconstituted pathway silences endogenous retrotransposons. These results identify a previously unknown class of Dicer proteins, bring the tool of RNAi to the study of budding yeasts, and bring the tools of budding yeast to the study of RNAi.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Present address: Center for Plant Science Innovation and Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA.

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