Genome-wide RNAi screens in Caenorhabditis elegans: Impact on cancer research

Gino Poulin, Ramkumar Nandakumar, Julie Ahringer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Genes linked to human cancers often function in evolutionary conserved pathways, and research in C. elegans has been instrumental in dissecting some of the pathways affected, such as apoptosis and Ras signalling. The advent of RNA interference (RNAi) technology has allowed high-throughput loss-of-function analyses of C. elegans gene functions. Here we review some of the most recent genome-wide RNAi screens that have been conducted and discuss their impact on cancer research and possibilities for future screens. We also show that genes causally implicated in human cancers are significantly more likely to have a C. elegans homologue than average, validating the use of C. elegans as a cancer gene discovery platform. We foresee that genome-wide RNAi screens in C. elegans will continue to be productive in identifying new cancer gene candidates and will provide further insights into cancer gene functions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8340-8345
    Number of pages5
    Issue number51
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2004


    • Apoptosis
    • C. elegans
    • Cancer
    • Ras
    • RNAi
    • Synthetic interaction


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