Research Methods, Experimental Protocols, and Laboratory Techniques
biologist wrote:What is Bioremediation?
ATGC2001 wrote:RNA stands for ribonucleic acids. "si" stands for small interference. RNA interference (RNAi) is a process by which living cells control genes, at what level these genes are expressed, and how active they become. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) is also sometimes known as silencing RNA, or short interfering RNA. siRNA is made up of long double-stranded RNA molecules that may create interference pathways, or in other words - interfere with the expression of a specific gene or certain gene process.
The structure of siRNA comprises of a 20-to 28-nucleotide long double-stranded RNA molecules, these molecules can be synthesized in laboratory and introduced into cells utilizing molecular biology technique called transfection. Researchers can modulate nucleic acid sequence of siRNA in a way that it could be targeted against specific gene (any human gene out of ~30,000 genes in human genome, or any gene of other species). Inactivation of specific gene in such directed manner (scientists often focus on oncogenes, or other genes causing various diseases) hold promise for development of new generation of medicined (also known as targeted therapeutics).
Induction of RNAi in cells or tissues is known as gene knockdown (or gene silencing). It's usually a temporary phase and will only work well with rapidly dividing cells. Scientists have attempted to overcome the limitations of such processes by modifying siRNA (shRNA) to be expressed from a vector such as plasmid DNA (stable shRNA expressing cell lines). However, inadequate introduction, structure, or size of siRNA (or other small RNA molecule) can initiate undesirable immune responses.
To date, scientists are looking for more efficient methods to deliver siRNA molecules into cells (invivo and invitro). Also, depending on cell type - cells can induce differential responce, the mechanism of which is not yet understood. Several Phase 1 trials are underway for therapeutic use of siRNA molecules for medical conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetes, and cancer. And in the near future, small RNA (including microRNA) molecules and siRNAs may create new classes of drugs for the treatment of many human immunodeficiency viruses.
RNA Interference and siRNA will continue to be studied in biological and medical research field, as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries that will help scientists and researchers better understand gene silencing (RNAi) mechanism and apply it to develop new medicines and therapeutics.
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