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J Viral Hepat. 2012 Nov;19(11):757-65. doi: 10.1111/jvh.12006.

Therapeutic potential of RNA interference: a new molecular approach to antiviral treatment for hepatitis C.

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Tehran Hepatitis Center, Iran.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection remains a major cause of chronic liver disease with an estimated 170 million carriers worldwide. Current treatments have significant side effects and have met with only partial success. Therefore, alternative antiviral drugs that efficiently block virus production are needed. During recent decades, RNA interference (RNAi) technology has not only become a powerful tool for functional genomics but also represents a new therapeutic approach for treating human diseases including viral infections. RNAi is a sequence-specific and post-transcriptional gene silencing process mediated by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). As the HCV genome is a single-stranded RNA that functions as both a messenger RNA (mRNA) and replication template, it is an attractive target for the study of RNAi-based viral therapies. In this review, we will give a brief overview about the history and current status of RNAi and focus on its potential application as a therapeutic option for treatment for HCV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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