The microRNA-producing enzyme Dicer1 is essential for zebrafish development

Nat Genet. 2003 Nov;35(3):217-8. doi: 10.1038/ng1251. Epub 2003 Oct 5.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are produced by the Dicer1 enzyme; the role of Dicer1 in vertebrate development is unknown. Here we report target-selected inactivation of the dicer1 gene in zebrafish. We observed an initial build-up of miRNA levels, produced by maternal Dicer1, in homozygous dicer1 mutants, but miRNA accumulation stopped after a few days. This resulted in developmental arrest around day 10. These results indicate that miRNA-producing Dicer1 is essential for vertebrate development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases
  • Endoribonucleases / genetics
  • Endoribonucleases / physiology*
  • Gene Silencing
  • MicroRNAs / biosynthesis*
  • Mutation
  • RNA Helicases / genetics
  • RNA Helicases / physiology*
  • Ribonuclease III
  • Zebrafish / embryology*


  • MicroRNAs
  • Endoribonucleases
  • DICER1 protein, human
  • Ribonuclease III
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases
  • RNA Helicases