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Gene Silencing


Gene silencing

- interruption or suppression of the expression of a gene at transcriptional or translational levels.

  • 1980's - antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs)
  • 1990's - ribozymes
  • 2000's - RNA interference (RNAi)

Comparison of different gene silencing strategies.

Agent Mechanism Result
Most drugs Bind to target protein Protein inhibition
RNase H-independent ODNs Hybridize to target mRNA Inhibition of translation of the target protein
RNase H-dependent ODNs Hybridize to target mRNA Degradation of the mRNA by RNase H
Ribozymes and DNA enzymes Catalyze cleavage of target mRNA Degradation of the mRNA
siRNA Hybridize to target mRNA by its antisense strand and guide it into endoribonuclease enzyme complex (RISC) Degradation of the mRNA

How it works

Comparison of gene silencing strategies


antisense and RNAi are referred as gene knockdown technologies: the transcription of the gene is unaffected; however, gene expression, i.e. protein synthesis, is lost because mRNA molecules become unstable or inaccessible. Furthermore, RNAi is based on naturally occurring phenomenon known as Post-Transcriptional Gene Silencing (PTGS). Replace Me


» The NCBI Probe database

» About RNA interference in PubMed

» About antisense oligonucleotides in PubMed

» RNA interference technology overview

» Morpholinos technology overview

siRNA siRNA pool DNA-based RNAi
dsRNA esiRNA morpholino

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Last updated: 2017-11-07T19:29:27Z