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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1997 Jun;9(3):373-82.

Post-transcriptional gene silencing in plants.

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  • 1Laboratorium voor Genetica, Department of Genetics, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Universiteit Gent, KL Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000, Gent, Belgium.


Overexpression of chimeric transgenes in plants can trigger post-transcriptional gene silencing that is dependent on epigenetic information and physiological conditions. The current view is that unproductive RNA serves as a crucial signal for gene silencing, although direct evidence is lacking for this theory. A signalling cascade then leads to strongly enhanced turnover of all RNAs that share a critical degree of sequence similarity. The molecular details of the mechanism are, however, insufficiently understood to explain the phenomenon completely and to comprehend its biological significance.

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