Systemic RNAi in C. elegans Requires the Putative Transmembrane Protein SID-1

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Science  29 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5564, pp. 2456-2459
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068836

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Double-stranded RNA-mediated gene interference (RNAi) inCaenorhabditis elegans systemically inhibits gene expression throughout the organism. To investigate how gene-specific silencing information is transmitted between cells, we constructed a strain that permits visualization of systemic RNAi. We used this strain to identify systemic RNA interference–deficient (sid) loci required to spread gene-silencing information between tissues but not to initiate or maintain an RNAi response. One of these loci, sid-1, encodes a conserved protein with predicted transmembrane domains. SID-1 is expressed in cells sensitive to RNAi, is localized to the cell periphery, and is required cell-autonomously for systemic RNAi.

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