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RNA silencing

Tuesday 24 May 2005

Definition: Small non-coding RNAs have rapidly emerged as important contributors to gene regulation. To carry out their biological functions, these small RNAs require a unique class of proteins called Argonautes.

RNA silencing was discovered in plants as a mechanism whereby invading nucleic acids, such as transgenes and viruses, are silenced through the action of small (20-26 nt) homologous RNA molecules.

Endogenous silencing pathways have important roles in gene regulation at the transcriptional, RNA stability and translational levels. They share a common core of small RNA generator and effector proteins with multiple paralogs in plant genomes, some of which have acquired highly specialized functions.

See also

- iRNA

References

- Chapman EJ, Carrington JC. Specialization and evolution of endogenous small RNA pathways. Nat Rev Genet. 2007 Nov;8(11):884-96. PMID: 17943195

- Hutvagner G, Simard MJ. Argonaute proteins: key players in RNA silencing. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Jan;9(1):22-32. PMID: 18073770

- Brodersen P, Voinnet O. The diversity of RNA silencing pathways in plants.
Trends Genet. 2006 May;22(5):268-80. PMID: 16567016

- Almeida R, Allshire RC. RNA silencing and genome regulation.
Trends Cell Biol. 2005 May;15(5):251-8. PMID: 15866029