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DNA damage RNAs (DDRNAs) or double-strand break (DSB)-induced RNAs (diRNAs) were first identified in two independent studies[1][2][3]. Prior to their characterisation, a class of small interfering RNA was found to be induced by DNA damage.[4] This class of small RNAs were called qiRNAs due to their interaction with QDE-2, a protein required for post-transcriptional silencing in plants[5], are about 20-21 nucleotides long, have a strong preference for uridine at the 5' end, and originate mostly from the ribosomal DNA locus. Contrary to qiRNAs, DDRNAs or diRNAs are produced near the vicinity of DNA damage and they have been demonstrated to have a crucial role in mediating the DNA damage response. In the absence of DDRNAs or diRNAs by knocking down Dicer, DNA repair is greatly impaired. DDRNAs or diRNAs are around 21-23 nt long.



  1. Site-specific DICER and DROSHA RNA products control the DNA-damage response http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22722852
  2. A role for small RNAs in DNA double-strand break repair http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22445173
  3. A direct role for small non-coding RNAs in DNA damage response http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24156824
  4. qiRNA is a new type of small interfering RNA induced by DNA damage http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19444217
  5. AGO1, QDE-2, and RDE-1 are related proteins required for post-transcriptional gene silencing in plants, quelling in fungi, and RNA interference in animals http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11016954