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October, 2006
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RNA-Induced Silencing Complex: A multicomponent, ribonucleoprotein complex comprised of one of the family of Argonaute proteins and the "guide strand" of the one of the 20- to 30-nucleotide small RNAs. Risc cleaves specific RNAs, which are targeted for degradation by homology to these small RNAs. Functions in regulating gene expression are determined by the specific argonaute protein and small RNA including siRNA (RNA, Small interfering), miRNA (Microrna), or piRNA (Piwi-interacting rna).

RNAi in C. elegans

JoVE 5105

RNA interference (RNAi) is a widely used technique in which double stranded RNA is exogenously introduced into an organism, causing knockdown of a target gene. In the nematode, C. elegans, RNAi is particularly easy and effective because it can be delivered simply by feeding the worms bacteria that express double stranded RNA (dsRNA) that is complementary to a gene of interest. First, this video will introduce the concept of RNA interference and explain how it causes targeted gene knockdown. Then, we will demonstrate a protocol for using RNAi in C. elegans, which includes preparation of the bacteria and RNAi worm plates, culturing of the worms, and how to assess the effects of RNAi on the worms. RNAi is frequently used to perform reverse genetic screens in order to reveal which genes are important to carry out specific biological processes. Furthermore, automated reverse genetic screens allow for the efficient knockdown and analysis of a large collection of genes. Lastly, RNAi is often used to study the development of C. elegans. Since its discovery, scientists have used RNAi to make tremendous progress on the understanding of many biological phenomena.

 Biology I

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