RNA Interference for Cancer Therapy

Chapter

Evolved as a defense mechanism against RNA virus, RNA interference (RNAi) is the phenomenon in which small interfering RNA (siRNA) of 21–23 nucleotides in length silences the target gene by binding to its complementary mRNA and triggering the degradation of target mRNA [1]. It was first found in Caenorhabditis elegans that introduction of foreign small double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) can lead to potent degradation of the complementary mRNA [2]. This finding generated huge interest in the application of siRNA for the biomedical research community. Potent knockdown of the target gene with high sequence specificity makes RNAi a powerful tool to uncover gene functions, understand the effects of selective gene silencing, and explore potential therapeutics for complex diseases [3]. The discovery of RNAi is one of the most dramatic findings over the past decade in the field of molecular biology [4]. As illustrated by the histogram in Fig. 1, the number of publications related to “RNAi” increased dramatically from 5 in 1998 to over 2000 in 2007.

Keywords

Cholesterol Lysine Interferon Arginine Integrin 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Missouri-Kansas CityKansas CityUSA

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