Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 83, Issue 10, pp 764–773

Silence of the transcripts: RNA interference in medicine

Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00109-005-0690-0

Cite this article as:
Barik, S. J Mol Med (2005) 83: 764. doi:10.1007/s00109-005-0690-0

Abstract

Silencing of gene expression by ribonucleic acid (RNA), known as RNA interference (RNAi), is now recognized as a major means of gene regulation in biology. In this mechanism, small noncoding double-stranded RNA molecules knock down gene expression through a variety of mechanisms that include messenger RNA (mRNA) degradation, inhibition of mRNA translation, or chromatin remodeling. The posttranscriptional mechanism of RNAi has been embraced by researchers as a powerful tool for generating deficient phenotypes without mutating the gene. In parallel, exciting recent results have promised its application in disease therapy. This review aims to summarize the current knowledge in this area and provide a roadmap that may eventually launch RNAi from the research bench to the medicine chest.

Keywords

RNA interference RNA drug Infectious disease Cancer Antiviral siRNA 

Abbreviations

bp

base pair

RNAi

RNA interference

siRNA

small interfering RNA

miRNA

microRNA

PKR

protein kinase, RNA-dependent

IFN

interferon

PTGS

posttranscriptional gene silencing

ncRNA

noncoding RNA

dsRNA

double-stranded RNA

RISC

RNAi-induced silencing complex

shRNA

short hairpin RNA

RSV

respiratory syncytial virus

HIV

human immunodeficiency virus

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, MSB2370University of South AlabamaMobileUSA

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