The Drosophila RNase III enzyme Dicer-2 processes double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) precursors into small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). It also interacts with the siRNA product and R2D2 protein to facilitate the assembly of an RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) that mediates RNA interference. Here, we characterized six independent missense mutations in the dicer-2 gene. Four mutations (P8S, L188F, R269W, and P365L) in the DExH helicase domain reduced dsRNA processing activity. Two mutations were located within an RNase III domain. P1496L caused a loss of dsRNA processing activity comparable to a null dicer-2 mutation. A1453T strongly reduced both dsRNA processing and RISC activity, and decreased the levels of Dicer-2 and R2D2 proteins, suggesting that this mutation destabilizes Dicer-2. We also found that the carboxyl-terminal region of R2D2 is essential for Dicer-2 binding. These results provide further insight into the structure-function relationship of Dicer, which plays a critical role in the siRNA pathway.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|Publication status||Published - 2008 Jul 4|
- RNA interference
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology