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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hemolin gene silencing by ds-RNA injected into Cecropia pupae is lethal to next generation embryos.

There is increasing evidence of an intimate connection between participants in the innate immune system and in development. Molecules involved in the determination of dorso-ventral polarity in Drosophila have related counterparts in the signalling pathways for immune gene activation in both insects and mammals. Hemolin from the Giant silkmoth, Hyalophora cecropia, identified as a bacteria-inducible molecule and a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, is present as protein and transcripts in oocytes and embryos. We used RNA interference (RNAi) to investigate H. cecropia gene function in vivo and demonstrated that Hemolin is crucial for the normal development of embryos. When RNAi-females were mated, no larvae emerged from their eggs and when dissected, the eggs revealed malformed embryos. Western blot analysis confirmed the lack of Hemolin gene products. We conclude that Hemolin is necessary for development, since the silencing of Hemolin gene expression leads to embryonic lethality.[1]


  1. Hemolin gene silencing by ds-RNA injected into Cecropia pupae is lethal to next generation embryos. Bettencourt, R., Terenius, O., Faye, I. Insect Mol. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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