A cellular function for the RNA-interference enzyme Dicer in the maturation of the let-7 small temporal RNA

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; Blotting, Northern; Drosophila melanogaster; Endoribonucleases; *Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental; Hela Cells; Humans; Nucleic Acid Conformation; Protein Structure, Tertiary; RNA Precursors; RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional; RNA, Double-Stranded; RNA, Helminth; RNA, Messenger; Ribonuclease III; Transcription, Genetic; Transfection


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The 21-nucleotide small temporal RNA (stRNA) let-7 regulates developmental timing in Caenorhabditis elegans and probably in other bilateral animals. We present in vivo and in vitro evidence that in Drosophila melanogaster a developmentally regulated precursor RNA is cleaved by an RNA interference-like mechanism to produce mature let-7 stRNA. Targeted destruction in cultured human cells of the messenger RNA encoding the enzyme Dicer, which acts in the RNA interference pathway, leads to accumulation of the let-7 precursor. Thus, the RNA interference and stRNA pathways intersect. Both pathways require the RNA-processing enzyme Dicer to produce the active small-RNA component that represses gene expression.

DOI of Published Version



Science. 2001 Aug 3;293(5531):834-8. Epub 2001 Jul 12. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Science (New York, N.Y.)

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PubMed ID