Conversion of pre-RISC to holo-RISC by Ago2 during assembly of RNAi complexes

Kevin Kim, Young Sik Lee, Richard W. Carthew*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


In the Drosophila RNA interference (RNAi) pathway, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) direct Argonaute2 (Ago2), an endonuclease, within the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) to cleave complementary mRNA targets. In vitro studies have shown that, for each siRNA duplex, RISC retains only one strand, the guide, and releases the other, the passenger, to form a holo-RISC complex. Here, we have isolated a new Ago2 mutant allele and provide, for the first time, in vivo evidence that endogenous Ago2 slicer activity is important to mount an RNAi response in Drosophila. We demonstrate in vivo that efficient removal of the passenger strand from RISC requires the cleavage activity of Ago2. We have also identified a new intermediate complex in the RISC assembly pathway, pre-RISC, in which Ago2 is stably bound to double-stranded siRNA. Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007


  • Ago2
  • Drosophila
  • RISC assembly
  • RNAi
  • siRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology

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