Homologous recombination as a mechanism to recognize repetitive DNA sequences in an RNAi pathway

Zhenyu Zhang, Shwu Shin Chang, Zhenying Zhang, Zhihong Xue, Hanxing Zhang, Shaojie Li, Yi Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Quelling is an RNAi-related phenomenon that posttranscriptionally silences repetitive DNA and transposons in Neurospora. We previously identified a type of DNA damage-induced small RNA called qiRNA that originates from ribosomal DNA. To understand how small RNAs are generated from repetitive DNA, we carried out a genetic screen to identify genes required for qiRNA biogenesis. Factors directly involved in homologous recombination (HR) and chromatin remodeling factors required for HR are essential for qiRNA production. HR is also required for quelling, and quelling is also the result of DNA damage, indicating that quelling and qiRNA production share a common mechanism. Together, our results suggest that DNA damage-triggered HR-based recombination allows the RNAi pathway to recognize repetitive DNA to produce small RNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • DNA damage
  • Homologous recombination
  • Quelling
  • RNAi
  • Repetitive sequences
  • qiRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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