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Trends Immunol. 2006 Jul;27(7):328-35. Epub 2006 Jun 6.

Interfering antiviral immunity: application, subversion, hope?

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  • 1The CBR Institute for Biomedical Research and Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


RNA interference (RNAi), initially recognized as a natural antiviral mechanism in plants, has rapidly emerged as an invaluable tool to suppress gene expression in a sequence-specific manner in all organisms, including mammals. Its potential to inhibit the replication of a variety of viruses has been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo in mouse and monkey models. These results have generated profound interest in the use of this technology as a potential treatment strategy for viral infections for which vaccines and drugs are unavailable or inadequate. In this review, we discuss the progress made within the past 2-3 years towards harnessing the potential of RNAi for clinical application in viral infections and the hurdles that have yet to be overcome.

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