Send to

Choose Destination
Trends Mol Med. 2003 Sep;9(9):397-403.

Interfering with disease: opportunities and roadblocks to harnessing RNA interference.

Author information

Center for Blood Research and Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


RNA interference (RNAi) is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism for silencing gene expression by targeted degradation of mRNA. Short double-stranded RNAs, known as small interfering RNAs (siRNA), are incorporated into an RNA-induced silencing complex that directs degradation of RNA containing a homologous sequence. RNAi has been shown to work in mammalian cells, and can inhibit viral infection and control tumor cell growth in vitro. Recently, it has been shown that intravenous injection of siRNA or of plasmids expressing sequences processed to siRNA can protect mice from autoimmune and viral hepatitis. RNAi could provide an exciting new therapeutic modality for treating infection, cancer, neurodegenerative disease and other illnesses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center