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Ketting group

RNA silencing

Prof. Dr. René Ketting has been appointed as one of the directors  at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz. Most of the Ketting  group has moved to Germany as per September 2012. The new contact details can be found at the group leader page
A number of group members remain at the Hubrecht Institute to finish their projects.



RNA is increasingly being recognized as a very potent effector of gene expression. In particular, RNA interference (RNAi) is a very efficient process in which RNA molecules direct gene silencing by guiding a family of proteins called the Argonaute proteins to their targets. The RNA molecules guiding the silencing effect are quite short, in the range of 21-31 bases, and well studied examples are better known as miRNAs, siRNAs and piRNAs.
Research in the Ketting lab focuses on various aspects of small RNA mediated gene silencing, with a special emphasis on how siRNAs and piRNAs affect the organization and stability of the genome in both vertebrates (zebrafish) and invertebrates (C. elegans).

About the research


Key publications
van Wolfswinkel, J.C., Claycomb, J.M., Batista, P.J., Mello, C.C., Berezikov, E., Ketting, R.F. (2009) CDE-1 affects chromosome segregation through uridylation of CSR-1-bound siRNAs. Cell 139:135-148.

Steiner, F.A., Okihara, K.L., Hoogstrate, S.W., Sijen, T., Ketting, R.F. (2009) RDE-1 slicer activity is required only for passenger-strand cleavage during RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 16: 207-211.

Houwing, S., Berezikov, E., Ketting, R.F. (2008) Zili is required for germ cell differentiation and meiosis in zebrafish. EMBO J. 27: 2702-2711.

Houwing, S., Kamminga, L.M., Berezikov, E., Cronembold, D., Girard, A., van den Elst, H., Filippov, D.V., Blaser, H., Raz, E., Moens, C.B., Plasterk, R.H., Hannon, G.J., Draper, B.W., Ketting, R.F. (2007) A role for Piwi and piRNAs in germ cell maintenance and transposon silencing in Zebrafish. Cell 129: 69-82.

Ketting*, R.F., Fischer*, S.E., Bernstein, E., Sijen, T., Hannon, G.J., Plasterk, R.H. (2001) Dicer functions in RNA interference and in synthesis of small RNA involved in developmental timing in C. elegans. Genes Dev. 15: 2654-2659.

Publication list