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Duplexes of 21-nucleotide RNAs mediate RNA interference in cultured mammalian cells.

Nature | May 24, 2001

RNA interference (RNAi) is the process of sequence-specific, post-transcriptional gene silencing in animals and plants, initiated by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) that is homologous in sequence to the silenced gene. The mediators of sequence-specific messenger RNA degradation are 21- and 22-nucleotide small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) generated by ribonuclease III cleavage from longer dsRNAs. Here we show that 21-nucleotide siRNA duplexes specifically suppress expression of endogenous and heterologous genes in different mammalian cell lines, including human embryonic kidney (293) and HeLa cells. Therefore, 21-nucleotide siRNA duplexes provide a new tool for studying gene function in mammalian cells and may eventually be used as gene-specific therapeutics.

Pubmed ID: 11373684 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Antigens, Nuclear | Beetles | COS Cells | Cells, Cultured | Cnidaria | Drosophila | Gene Silencing | Genes | Genes, Reporter | Genetic Techniques | HeLa Cells | Humans | Lamins | Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins | Nuclear Proteins | Nucleic Acid Hybridization | RNA, Double-Stranded | RNA, Messenger | Vimentin