The RNAi revolution

  title={The RNAi revolution},
  author={Carl D. Novina and Phillip A. Sharp},
The term RNAi — short for RNA interference — crops up again and again in biology research these days. This is in part because of its power as a laboratory tool, and in part because it is a widespread natural phenomenon. 

Medicine: A cholesterol connection in RNAi

RNA interference — RNAi for short — might provide a way to silence disease-associated genes, but problems of delivery have hampered progress. Those problems may have been solved, at least in animal

RNA interference: The silent treatment

Biotech firms are vying to harness the potential of RNA interference. But will its impact be in finding new disease targets, or in RNA-based drugs? Julie Clayton investigates.

The prospect of silencing disease using RNA interference.

The basic mechanism of RNAi and the therapeutic opportunities and obstacles for harnessing RNAi for therapy of human disease are discussed.

SiRNA-Silencing the Culprits Dr .

Plants as well as animals contain hundreds of small RNAs with distinct genes responsible for their regulation, which have been used in therapeutics aswell as in studying the development process.

Environmental RNA interference.

Building mammalian signalling pathways with RNAi screens

This work has shown that RNAi can be scaled up for use in high-throughput techniques and is now at the brink of being able to harness the power of RNAi for large-scale functional discovery in mammalian cells.

RNAi: finding the elusive endonuclease.

A combination of structural and biochemical analyses provide compelling evidence that human Argonaute2 (Ago2), a protein already known to be a key player in the RNAi pathway, is in fact the missing endonuclease.

Gene discovery by ribozyme and siRNA libraries

Catalytic RNAs, also known as ribozymes, can be engineered to optimize their activities in the intracellular environment and ribozyme technology complements another RNA-based tool that is based on libraries of small interfering RNAs.



A species of small antisense RNA in posttranscriptional gene silencing in plants.

The 25-nucleotide antisense RNA detected in transgene-induced PTGS is likely synthesized from an RNA template and may represent the specificity determinant of PTGS.

Vertebrate MicroRNA Genes

A computational procedure (MiRscan) is developed to identify miRNA genes and applies it here to miRNAs known to control the expression of other genes at the posttranscriptional level.

RNAi-Mediated Targeting of Heterochromatin by the RITS Complex

The purification of an RNAi effector complex termed RITS (RNA-induced initiation of transcriptional gene silencing) that is required for heterochromatin assembly in fission yeast is described and a mechanism for the role of the RNAi machinery and small RNAs in targeting of heterochROMatin complexes and epigenetic genesilencing at specific chromosomal loci is suggested.

Hairpin RNAs and Retrotransposon LTRs Effect RNAi and Chromatin-Based Gene Silencing

These analyses directly implicate interspersed LTRs in regulating gene expression during cellular differentiation in plants through nearby retrotransposon long terminal repeats.

Role for a bidentate ribonuclease in the initiation step of RNA interference

Dicer is a member of the RNase III family of nucleases that specifically cleave double-stranded RNAs, and is evolutionarily conserved in worms, flies, plants, fungi and mammals, and has a distinctive structure, which includes a helicase domain and dualRNase III motifs.

Targeted mRNA degradation by double-stranded RNA in vitro.

The development of a cell-free system from syncytial blastoderm Drosophila embryos that recapitulates many of the features of RNAi is reported, demonstrating that RNAi can be mediated by sequence-specific processes in soluble reactions.

Potent and specific genetic interference by double-stranded RNA in Caenorhabditis elegans

To their surprise, it was found that double-stranded RNA was substantially more effective at producing interference than was either strand individually, arguing against stochiometric interference with endogenous mRNA and suggesting that there could be a catalytic or amplification component in the interference process.