Rescue of a dominant mutant with RNA interference

Wu, Y, Messing J.  2010.  



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Maize Mucronate1 is a dominant floury mutant based on a misfolded 16-kDa gamma-zein protein. To prove its function, we applied RNA interference (RNAi) as a dominant suppressor of the mutant seed phenotype. A gamma-zein RNAi transgene was able to rescue the mutation and restore normal seed phenotype. RNA interference prevents gene expression. In most cases, this is used to study gene function by creating a new phenotype. Here, we use it for the opposite purpose. We use it to reverse the creation of a mutant phenotype by restoring the normal phenotype. In the case of the maize Mucronate1 (Mc1) phenotype, interaction of a misfolded protein with other proteins is believed to be the basis for the Mc1 phenotype. If no misfolded protein is present, we can reverse the mutant to the normal phenotype. One can envision using this approach to study complex traits and in gene therapy.


Wu, YongruiMessing, JoachimUnited StatesGeneticsGenetics. 2010 Dec;186(4):1493-6. Epub 2010 Sep 27.

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Wu, Y, Messing J.  2010.  Rescue of a dominant mutant with RNA interference. Genetics. 186:1493-6.