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      Endogenous siRNAs derived from transposons and mRNAs in Drosophila somatic cells.

      Science (New York, N.Y.)

      Animals, Argonaute Proteins, Base Sequence, Cell Line, DNA Transposable Elements, Drosophila Proteins, genetics, metabolism, Drosophila melanogaster, Mutation, RNA Helicases, RNA Interference, RNA, Double-Stranded, RNA, Messenger, RNA, Small Interfering, RNA-Induced Silencing Complex, Retroelements, Ribonuclease III

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          Abstract

          Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) direct RNA interference (RNAi) in eukaryotes. In flies, somatic cells produce siRNAs from exogenous double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) as a defense against viral infection. We identified endogenous siRNAs (endo-siRNAs), 21 nucleotides in length, that correspond to transposons and heterochromatic sequences in the somatic cells of Drosophila melanogaster. We also detected endo-siRNAs complementary to messenger RNAs (mRNAs); these siRNAs disproportionately mapped to the complementary regions of overlapping mRNAs predicted to form double-stranded RNA in vivo. Normal accumulation of somatic endo-siRNAs requires the siRNA-generating ribonuclease Dicer-2 and the RNAi effector protein Argonaute2 (Ago2). We propose that endo-siRNAs generated by the fly RNAi pathway silence selfish genetic elements in the soma, much as Piwi-interacting RNAs do in the germ line.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          18403677
          2953241
          10.1126/science.1157396

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