Genes required for RNA interference

Nathaniel R. Dudley, Ahmad Z. Amin, Bob Goldstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Introduction RNA interference (RNAi) is a recently discovered phenomenon in which double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) silences endogenous gene expression in a sequence-specific manner (Fire et al., 1998). Since its discovery, the use of RNAi has become widely employed in many organisms to specifically knock down gene function. RNAi shares a remarkable degree of similarity with silencing phenomena in other organisms (Cogoni et al., 1999a; Sharp, 1999). For instance, RNAi, post-transcriptional gene silencing in plants and cosuppression in fungi can all be activated by the presence of aberrant RNAs (Maine, 2000; Tijsterman et al., 2002a). Additionally, plant, worm, and fly cells or extracts undergoing RNA-mediated interference all contain small dsRNAs, around 25 nucleotides in length, identical to the sequences present in the silenced gene (Baulcombe, 1996; Hammond et al., 2000; Zamore et al., 2000; Catalanotto et al., 2000). The high degree of similarity between these RNA-mediated silencing phenomena supports the notion that they were derived from an ancient and conserved pathway used to regulate gene expression, presumably to eliminate defective RNAs and to defend against viral infections and transposons (Zamore, 2002). Components of RNAi have also been implicated in developmental processes, suggesting that RNAi may play a broader role in regulating gene expression (Smardon et al., 2000; Knight et al., 2001; et al., Ketting et al., 2001). Although we have learned much about the general mechanisms underlying RNAi, a detailed understanding of how RNAi works remains to be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRNA Interference Technology
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Basic Science to Drug Development
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780511546402
ISBN (Print)0521836778, 9780521836777
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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