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RNAihasbecomeawidelyusedmethodforstudyinggene function. Since its discovery in Caenorhabditis elegans1

Summary: RNAihasbecomeawidelyusedmethodforstudyinggene
function. Since its discovery in Caenorhabditis elegans1
generating loss-of-function phenotypes by depletion of
the corresponding transcript has facilitated functional
studies of genes in various organisms, from the classical
genetic model systems of C. elegans and Drosophila, to
human cells and organisms such as planaria and mos-
quitos for which genetic techniques were not available.
RNAi is an endogenous cellular process by which
messenger RNAs are targeted for degradation by double-
stranded (ds) RNA of identical sequence, leading to
gene silencing1,2
. Initially used to knock down the func-
tion of individual genes of interest, the technology was
harnessed in several organisms on a global scale with
the production of RNAi libraries to silence most of the
genes in their genomes, allowing genome-wide loss-of-
function screening (Fig. 1).
The promise and pace of RNAi screening has


Source: Ahringe, Julie - Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge


Collections: Biology and Medicine