Thursday, December 10, 2015

RNAi as insecticide

David O'Brachta at the IGT-RCN reports on insecticidal dsRNA encoded by corn, which is "moving to the field" currently "for seed production and breeding only."  Read the story here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Endogenous roles of Dicer-2--new report suggests link to Toll

Wang Z, Wu D, Liu Y, Xia X, Gong W, Qiu Y, Yang J, Zheng Y, Li J, Wang YF, Xiang Y, Hu Y, Zhou X. Drosophila Dicer-2 has an RNA interference-independent function that modulates Toll immune signaling. Sci Adv. 2015 Oct 16;1(9):e1500228. PMID: 26601278; PMCID: PMC4646792.

From the abstract: "Dicer-2 is the central player for small interfering RNA biogenesis in the Drosophila RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. Intriguingly, we found that Dicer-2 has an unconventional RNAi-independent function that positively modulates Toll immune signaling ... The loss of Dicer-2 expression makes fruit flies more susceptible to fungal infection. We further revealed that Dicer-2 posttranscriptionally modulates Toll signaling because Dicer-2 is required for the proper expression of Toll protein ... Dicer-2 directly binds to the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of Toll mRNA via its PAZ (Piwi/Argonaute/Zwille) domain and is required for protein translation mediated by Toll 3'UTR. ... our findings ... indicate an unexpected intersection of the RNAi pathway and the Toll pathway, and provide new insights into Toll immune signaling, Drosophila Dicer-2, and probably Dicer and Dicer-related proteins in other organisms."