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.

Dicer is essential for mouse development

A Corrigendum to this article was published on 01 November 2003


To address the biological function of RNA interference (RNAi)-related pathways in mammals, we disrupted the gene Dicer1 in mice. Loss of Dicer1 lead to lethality early in development, with Dicer1-null embryos depleted of stem cells. Coupled with our inability to generate viable Dicer1-null embryonic stem (ES) cells, this suggests a role for Dicer, and, by implication, the RNAi machinery, in maintaining the stem cell population during early mouse development.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Disruption of the mouse gene Dicer1.
Figure 2: Characterization of Dicer1 mutant embryos.


  1. Hannon, G.J. Nature 418, 244–251 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

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

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Ketting, R.F. et al. Genes Dev. 15, 2654–2659 (2001).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Knight, S.W. & Bass, B.L. Science 293, 2269–2271 (2001).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Hutvagner, G. et al. Science 293, 834–838 (2001).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Grishok, A. et al. Cell 106, 23–34 (2001).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Hutvagner, G. & Zamore, P.D. Science 1, 1 (2002).

    Google Scholar 

  8. Zhang, P., Li, M.Z. & Elledge, S.J. Nat. Genet. 30, 31–39 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Blaszczyk, J. et al. Structure (Camb) 9, 1225–1236 (2001).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Carmell, M.A., Xuan, Z., Zhang, M.Q. & Hannon, G.J. Genes Dev. 16, 2733–2742 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Nichols, J. et al. Cell 95, 379–391 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Niwa, H., Masui, S., Chambers, I., Smith, A.G. & Miyazaki, J. Mol. Cell Biol. 22, 1526–1536 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Avilion, A.A. et al. Genes Dev. 17, 126–140 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Yeom, Y.I. et al. Development 122, 881–894 (1996).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Shauer, S.E., Jacobsen, S.E., Meinke, D.W. & Ray, A. Trends Plant Sci. 7, 487–491 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank L. Bianco and J. Coblentz for assistance with animals; B. Holdener, M.J. Garcia-Garcia and the Stony Brook University Histology Facility for help with initial embryo dissections; and M. Zhang and Z. Xuan for bioinformatics. E.M. is a Elisabeth Sloane Livingston Fellow of the Watson School of Biological Sciences. M.C. is supported by a US Army Breast Cancer Research Program Predoctoral Fellowship. This work was supported in part by grants from the US National Institutes of Health (G.J.H, S.J.E. and K.V.A) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (S.J.E.).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gregory J Hannon.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bernstein, E., Kim, S., Carmell, M. et al. Dicer is essential for mouse development. Nat Genet 35, 215–217 (2003).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


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