A Role for the RNase III Enzyme DCR-1 in RNA Interference and Germ Line Development in Caenorhabditis elegans

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Science  21 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5538, pp. 2269-2271
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062039

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An early event in RNA interference (RNAi) is the cleavage of the initiating double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) to short pieces, 21 to 23 nucleotides in length. Here we describe a null mutation indicer-1 (dcr-1), a gene proposed to encode the enzyme that generates these short RNAs. We find thatdcr-1(−/−) animals have defects in RNAi under some, but not all, conditions. Mutant animals have germ line defects that lead to sterility, suggesting that cleavage of dsRNA to short pieces is a requisite event in normal development.

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