Ribonucleases play important roles in the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. The Dicer endonuclease converts double-stranded (ds)RNA into small interfering (si)RNA and the Slicer endonuclease, as a component of the RNA induced silencing complex (RISC), cleaves mRNA. Tudor staphylococcal nuclease (Tudor-SN) is another component of RISC in humans, flies and nematodes and is therefore implicated in the RNAi pathway. Here, we explore the potential role of African trypanosome Tudor-SN in RNAi. First, we assembled tudor-sn null mutants and showed that the gene is dispensable for normal growth and for differentiation. Next, we developed an inducible RNAi reporter system and demonstrated that Tudor-SN is dispensable for RNAi. The kinetics of mRNA knock-down, protein knock-down and protein recovery following inactivation of dsRNA expression are all unperturbed in the absence of Tudor-SN. We conclude that if this nuclease plays a role in the destruction or processing of dsRNA, mRNA or siRNA in the RNAi pathway, it is likely a minor one. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Trypanosoma brucei