The roles of plant dsRNA-binding proteins in RNAi-like pathways

Shaun J. Curtin, John M. Watson, Neil A. Smith, Andrew L. Eamens, Chris L. Blanchard, Peter M. Waterhouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Dicers are associated with double-stranded RNA-binding proteins (dsRBPs) in animals. In the plant, Arabidopsis, there are four dicer-like (DCL) proteins and five potential dsRBPs. These DCLs act redundantly and hierarchically. However, we show there is little or no redundancy or hierarchy amongst the DRBs in their DCL interactions. DCL1 operates exclusively with DRB1 to produce micro (mi)RNAs, DCL4 operates exclusively with DRB4 to produce trans-acting (ta) siRNAs and 21nt siRNAs from viral RNA. DCL2 and DCL3 produce viral siRNAs without requiring assistance from any dsRBP. DRB2, DRB3 and DRB5 appear unnecessary for mi-, tasi-, viral si-, or heterochromatinising siRNA production but act redundantly in a developmental pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2753-2760
Number of pages8
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - Aug 6 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Double-stranded RNA
  • Gene silencing pathway
  • RNA binding protein
  • RNA interference


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