Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

RNA silencing

Diced defence

RNA silencing allows cells to block invading viruses or mobile DNAs. An RNA-cleaving enzyme involved in the first step of silencing has now been identified.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: According to one model for RNA silencing, there are two stages during which RNA is cleaved.


  1. Bernstein, E., Caudy, A. A., Hammond, S. M. & Hannon, G. J. Nature 409, 363–366 ( 2001).

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Plasterk, R. H. A. & Ketting, R. F. Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. 10, 562–567 (2000).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Mourrain, P. et al. Cell 101, 533–542 (2000).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Fire, A. et al. Nature 391, 806–811 (1998).

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Zamore, P. D., Tuschl, T., Sharp, P. A. & Bartel, D. P. Cell 101, 25–33 (2000).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Hammond, S. M., Bernstein, E., Beach, D. & Hannon, G. Nature 404, 293–296 (2000).

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Cerutti, L., Mian, N. & Bateman, A. Trends Biochem. Sci. 25, 481– 482 (2000).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Fagard, M., Boutet, S., Morel, J.-B, Bellini, C. & Vaucheret, H. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 97, 11650–11654 (2000).

    Article  ADS  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  9. Tabara, H. et al. Cell 99, 123–132 (1999).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Catalanotto, C., Azzalin, G., Macino, G. & Cogoni, C. Nature 404, 245 (2000).

  11. Jacobsen, S. E., Running, M. P. & Meyerowitz, E. M. Development 126, 5231– 5243 (1999).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Smardon, A. et al. Curr. Biol. 10, 169– 178 (2000).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to David Baulcombe.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Baulcombe, D. Diced defence. Nature 409, 295–296 (2001).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing