BBS Faculty Member - Craig Hunter

Craig Hunter

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Harvard University
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
16 Divinity Avenue., BL3044
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617-495-8309
Fax: 617-496-0132
Lab Members: 7 postdoctoral fellows, 4 graduate students
Visit my lab page here.

Systemic RNAi and intercellular RNA transport

The discovery of RNAi has generated tremendous excitement in basic research, where RNAi is an important tool, and in medicine, where dsRNAs are being developed as therapeutics to regulate disease causing genes and viruses. The last few years has seen significant progress in deciphering the intricacies of how introduction of dsRNA into cells leads to gene-specific mRNA degradation. A second aspect of RNAi, the ability of the gene-specific signal to spread between cells, has been little studied, but its implications are equally as large, both as a means to introduce therapeutic dsRNA into cells as well as a new mechanism of intercellular gene regulation.
Our discovery and characterization of C. elegans genes essential for the spreading of the RNAi signal has provided a mechanistic basis for understanding how gene-specific information is communicated between cells and the means to manipulate this newly discovered form of intercellular gene regulation. Current research efforts in the lab are directed at understanding how dsRNA transits the SID-1 dsRNA channel, investigating the function of vertebrate SID-1 homologs, determining how dsRNA is exported from and transported between cells, and cloning and characterizing the other components identified in ongoing genetic screens

Last Update: 8/22/2013


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Jose AM, Smith JJ, Hunter CP. Export of RNA silencing from C. elegans tissues does not require the RNA channel SID-1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. (2009) 106:2283-8.

Winston WM, Sutherlin M, Wright AJ, Feinberg EH, Hunter CP. Caenorhabditis elegans SID-2 is required for environmental RNA interference. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. (2007) 104:10565-70.

Feinberg EH, Hunter CP. Transport of dsRNA into cells by the transmembrane protein SID-1. Science. (2003) 301:1545-7.

Winston WM, Molodowitch C, Hunter CP. Systemic RNAi in C. elegans requires the putative transmembrane protein SID-1. Science. (2002) 295:2456-9

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