Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 76, Issue 1, pp 9–21 | Cite as

Applications of RNA interference: current state and prospects for siRNA-based strategies in vivo

  • Achim Aigner


Within the recent years, RNA interference (RNAi) has become an almost-standard method for in vitro knockdown of any target gene of interest. Now, one major focus is to further explore its potential in vivo, including the development of novel therapeutic strategies. From the mechanism, it becomes clear that small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) play a pivotal role in triggering RNAi. Thus, the efficient delivery of target gene-specific siRNAs is one major challenge in the establishment of therapeutic RNAi. Numerous studies, based on different modes of administration and various siRNA formulations and/or modifications, have already accumulated promising results. This applies to various animal models covering viral infections, cancer and multiple other diseases. Continuing efforts will lead to the development of efficient and “double-specific” drugs, comprising of siRNAs with high target gene specificity and of nanoparticles enhancing siRNA delivery and target organ specificity.


RNA interference RNAi siRNA Gene-targeting Gene knockdown Nonviral siRNA delivery Nanoplexes 



The author’s work reported herein was supported by grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (AI 24/5-1 and Forschergruppe Nanohale, AI 24/6-1) and by the Deutsche Krebshilfe.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of MedicinePhilipps-University MarburgMarburgGermany

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