Specific interference with gene function by double-stranded RNA in early mouse development

Nat Cell Biol. 2000 Feb;2(2):70-5. doi: 10.1038/35000016.


The use of double-stranded (ds) RNA is a powerful way of interfering with gene expression in a range of organisms, but doubts have been raised about whether it could be successful in mammals. Here, we show that dsRNA is effective as a specific inhibitor of the function of three genes in the mouse, namely maternally expressed c-mos in the oocyte and zygotically expressed E-cadherin or a GFP transgene in the preimplantation embryo. The phenotypes observed are the same as those reported for null mutants of the endogenous genes. These findings offer the opportunity to study development and gene regulation in normal and diseased cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocyst
  • Cadherins / genetics*
  • Chimera
  • Embryology / methods*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Microinjections
  • Oocytes / drug effects
  • Parthenogenesis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mos / genetics*
  • RNA, Double-Stranded / pharmacology*
  • Transgenes
  • Zygote / drug effects


  • Cadherins
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • RNA, Double-Stranded
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mos