The discovery of RNA interference by Fire and Mello has opened up a new arena for research in molecular biology. The interfering RNAs (iRNAs) are 21-23 nucleotide RNA duplexes, which have the ability to reduce or abolish gene activity, and this property is being used in reverse genetics. Dicer and RISC (RNA-induced silencing complex) play important role in mechanism of RNA interference. The specificity, efficiency and potency make RNAi an attractive tool for analyzing the function of genes. Researchers are investigating the possibility of using RNA interference in treatment of various important diseases such as HIV, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, malaria and various other diseases.
Key words: RNA interference, Dicer, RISC, reverse genetics.
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