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Gene silencing in mammals by small interfering RNAs.
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Nat Rev Genet, Volume 3, Issue 10, p.737-47 (2002)
Keywords:Animals, Gene Silencing, Gene Targeting, Humans, MicroRNAs, Molecular Sequence Data, Nucleic Acid Conformation, Plants, RNA, Messenger, RNA, Small Interfering, Virus Diseases
<p>Among the 3 billion base pairs of the human genome, there are approximately 30,000-40,000 protein-coding genes, but the function of at least half of them remains unknown. A new tool - short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) - has now been developed for systematically deciphering the functions and interactions of these thousands of genes. siRNAs are an intermediate of RNA interference, the process by which double-stranded RNA silences homologous genes. Although the use of siRNAs to silence genes in vertebrate cells was only reported a year ago, the emerging literature indicates that most vertebrate genes can be studied with this technology.</p>