Review Article | Published:

RNA interference: listening to the sound of silence

Nature Structural Biology volume 8, pages 746750 (2001) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The term RNA interference (RNAi) describes the use of double-stranded RNA to target specific mRNAs for degradation, thereby silencing their expression. RNAi is one manifestation of a broad class of RNA silencing phenomena that are found in plants, animals and fungi. The discovery of RNAi has changed our understanding of how cells guard their genomes, led to the development of new strategies for blocking gene function, and may yet yield RNA-based drugs to treat human disease.

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank my colleagues for generously sharing their ideas with me, notably D. Bartel, C. Mello, A. Fire, P. Sharp, and T. Tuschl, and I especially thank the members of my own laboratory, with whom it is a great privilege to study RNAi.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, S6-240, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA. phillip.zamore@umassmed.edu

    • Phillip D. Zamore

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nsb0901-746

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