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2003 | 50 | 1 | 217-229
Article title

RNA interference and its role in the regulation of eucaryotic gene expression.

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Several years ago it was discovered that plant transformation with a transcribed sense transgene could shut down the expression of a homologous endogenous gene. Moreover, it was shown that the introduction into the cell of dsRNA (double-stranded RNA) containing nucleotide sequence complementary to an mRNA sequence causes selective degradation of the latter and thus silencing of a specific gene. This phenomenon, called RNA interference (RNAi) was demonstrated to be present in almost all eukaryotic organisms. RNAi is also capable of silencing transposons in germ line cells and fighting RNA virus infection. Enzymes involved in this process exhibit high homology across species. Some of these enzymes are involved in other cellular processes, for instance developmental timing, suggesting strong interconnections between RNAi and other metabolic pathways. RNAi is probably an ancient mechanism that evolved to protect eukaryotic cells against invasive forms of nucleic acids.
Physical description
  • Department of Gene Expression, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
  • Department of Gene Expression, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
  • Institute of Bioorganic Biochemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznań, Poland
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