RNA Interference (RNAi)
RNAi has been shown to be effective in mediating knock-down of mRNA levels of targeted genes in a wide range of organisms, from yeast and plants to animals.
Long double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) molecules are cut by a RnaseIII-like enzyme called Dicer into 20-25 nucleotide small interfering RNAS (siRNAs) and from a so-called RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). This comples interacts with target RNA of complementary sequence to the siRNA and destroys it. Alternatively, the siRNA can serve as a primer for an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP), creating many more siRNAs.
In C. elegans, RNAi was first observed as a silencing of endogenous gene homologous to injected dsRNA.
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