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Cell Cycle. 2006 Sep;5(18):2103-9. Epub 2006 Sep 15.

Delivery of RNA interference.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


Over the last few years, RNA Interference (RNAi), a naturally occurring mechanism of gene regulation conserved in plant and mammalian cells, has opened numerous novel opportunities for basic research across the field of biology. While RNAi has helped accelerate discovery and understanding of gene functions, it also has great potential as a therapeutic and potentially prophylactic modality. Challenging diseases failing conventional therapeutics could become treatable by specific silencing of key pathogenic genes. More specifically, therapeutic targets previously deemed "undruggable" by small molecules, are now coming within reach of RNAi based therapy. For RNAi to be effective and elicit gene silencing response, the double-stranded RNA molecules must be delivered to the target cell. Unfortunately, delivery of these RNA duplexes has been challenging, halting rapid development of RNAi-based therapies. In this review we present current advancements in the field of siRNA delivery methods, including the pros and cons of each method.

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