A Caltech Library Service

Double-stranded RNA-mediated silencing of genomic tandem repeats and transposable elements in the D. melanogaster germline

Aravin, Alexei A. and Naumova, Natalia M. and Tulin, Alexei V. and Vagin, Vasilii V. and Rozovsky, Yakov M. and Gvozdev, Vladimir A. (2001) Double-stranded RNA-mediated silencing of genomic tandem repeats and transposable elements in the D. melanogaster germline. Current Biology, 11 (13). pp. 1017-1027. ISSN 0960-9822. doi:10.1016/s0960-9822(01)00299-8.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Background: The injection of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) has been shown to induce a potent sequence-specific inhibition of gene function in diverse invertebrate and vertebrate species. The homology-dependent posttranscriptional gene silencing (PTGS) caused by the introduction of transgenes in plants may be mediated by dsRNA. The analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans mutants impaired with dsRNA-mediated silencing and studies in plants implicate a biological role of dsRNA-mediated silencing as a transposon-repression and antiviral mechanism. Results: We investigated the silencing of testis-expressed Stellate genes by paralogous Su(Ste) tandem repeats, which are known to be involved in the maintenance of male fertility in Drosophila melanogaster. We found that both strands of repressor Su(Ste) repeats are transcribed, producing sense and antisense RNA. The Stellate silencing is associated with the presence of short Su(Ste) RNAs. Cotransfection experiments revealed that Su(Ste) dsRNA can target and eliminate Stellate transcripts in Drosophila cell culture. The short fragment of Stellate gene that is homologous to Su(Ste) was shown to be sufficient to confer Su(Ste)-dependent silencing of a reporter construct in testes. We demonstrated that Su(Ste) dsRNA-mediated silencing affects not only Stellate expression but also the level of sense Su(Ste) RNA providing a negative autogenous regulation of Su(Ste) expression. Mutation in the spindle-E gene relieving Stellate silencing also leads to a derepression of the other genomic tandem repeats and retrotransposons in the germline. Conclusions: Homology-dependent gene silencing was shown to be used to inhibit Stellate gene expression in the D. melanogaster germline, ensuring male fertility. dsRNA-mediated silencing may provide a basis for negative autogenous control of gene expression. The related surveillance system is implicated to control expression of retrotransposons in the germline.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:© 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. Received 15 January 2001, Revised 1 May 2001, Accepted 8 May 2001, Available online 17 July 2001. We are grateful to B. McKee for providing unpublished results, S. Bonaccorsi and U. Schäfer for fly strains, and Phillip Zamore for RNA size markers. We thank Denis Rebrikov and Sergei Lukyanov for their help with RACE experiments, Thomas Tuschl for advice on the detection of small RNAs, and Alla Kalmykova for critical comments. This work was supported by grants from the Russian Foundation for Basic Researchers (N 99-04-48561, 00-15-97896, and 01-04-48514) and the programs “Frontiers in Genetics” (N 99-1-069) and “Universities to Fundamental Science”.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Russian Foundation for Basic Research99-04-48561
Russian Foundation for Basic Research00-15-97896
Russian Foundation for Basic Research01-04-48514
Russian Foundation for Basic Research99-1-069
Issue or Number:13
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190513-135711509
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Alexei A. Aravin, Natalia M. Naumova, Alexei V. Tulin, Vasilii V. Vagin, Yakov M. Rozovsky, Vladimir A. Gvozdev, Double-stranded RNA-mediated silencing of genomic tandem repeats and transposable elements in the D. melanogaster germline, Current Biology, Volume 11, Issue 13, 2001, Pages 1017-1027, ISSN 0960-9822, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:95442
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 May 2019 21:17
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:12

Repository Staff Only: item control page