RNA interference in fungi: Pathways, functions, and applications

Yunkun Dang, Qiuying Yang, Zhihong Xue, Yi Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

96 Scopus citations

Abstract

Small RNA molecules of about 20 to 30 nucleotides function in gene regulation and genomic defense via conserved eukaryotic RNA interference (RNAi)-related pathways. The RNAi machinery consists of three core components: Dicer, Argonaute, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. In fungi, the RNAi-related pathways have three major functions: genomic defense, heterochromatin formation, and gene regulation. Studies of Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Neurospora, and other fungi have uncovered surprisingly diverse small RNA biogenesis pathways, suggesting that fungi utilize RNAi-related pathways in various cellular processes to adapt to different environmental conditions. These studies also provided important insights into how RNAi functions in eukaryotic systems in general. In this review, we will discuss our current understanding of the fungal RNAi-related pathways and their functions, with a focus on filamentous fungi. We will also discuss how RNAi can be used as a tool in fungal research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1148-1155
Number of pages8
JournalEukaryotic Cell
Volume10
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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