Gene silencing by double-stranded RNA

R. W. Carthew*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

185 Scopus citations

Abstract

Eukaryotes silence gene expression in the presence of double-stranded RNA homologous to the silenced gene. Silencing occurs by the targeted degradation of mRNA. Biochemical reactions that recapitulate this phenomenon generate RNA fragments of 21-23 nucleotides from the double-stranded RNA. These stably associate with an RNA endonuclease and probably serve as a discriminator to select mRNAs. Once selected, mRNAs are cleaved at sites 21-23 nucleotides apart. This mechanism, termed RNAi, has functional links to viral defense and silencing phenomena, such as cosuppression. It also functions to repress the hopping of transposable elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-248
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cell Biology
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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