Detrimental effects of RNAi:a cautionary note on its use in drosophila ageing studies


RNA interference (RNAi) provides an important tool for gene function discovery. It has been widely exploited in Caenorhabditis elegans ageing research because it does not appear to have any non-specific effects on ageing-related traits in that model organism. We show here that ubiquitous, adult-onset activation of the RNAi machinery, achieved by expressing a double stranded RNA targeting GFP or lacZ for degradation, or by increasing expression of Dicer substantially reduces lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. Induction of GFPRNAi construct also alters the response of lifespan to nutrition, exacerbating the lifespan-shortening effects of food containing a high quantity of yeast. Our study indicates that activation of the RNAi machinery may have sequence-independent side-effects on lifespan, and that caution needs to be exercised when employing ubiquitous RNAi in Drosophila ageing studies. However, we also show that RNAi restricted to certain tissues may not be detrimental to lifespan.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > Cell & Tissue Biomedical Research
Additional Information: © Alic et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Medicine(all),Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all),Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2012-09-17
Accepted Date: 2012-08-21
Authors: Alic, Nazif
Hoddinott, Matthew P.
Foley, Andrea
Slack, Cathy (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-7949-4079)
Piper, Matthew D.W.
Partridge, Linda



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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