Advantages And Disadvantages Of Gene Silencing

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Different gene silencing methods are being used in biomedical research for the development of potential disease therapeutics. Most of these methods are similar in that they involve the disabling of mRNA by preventing it from being translated into a protein. They differ in the type of molecule used to disrupt mRNA. Due to these differences, each silencing method has specific advantages and disadvantages. Two of the most currently understood methods of gene silencing are RNA interference (RNAi) and antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs). In RNAi, the molecules that identify the target mRNA are called small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs). These siRNAs are short, synthetically made double-stranded RNA molecules (Koenig et al. 2013). The combining of …show more content…
dsRNA is endogenously found as the genetic material of some viruses. It also plays an important role in gene function and expression in eukaryotes. Previous research suggests that gene silencing does not occur in eukaryotes naturally; so far it can only be applied in laboratory settings. dsRNA is known to trigger gene silencing when injected into the cells of organisms. This process has been coined as RNA interference in animals, post-transcriptional gene silencing in plants, and quelling in fungi. Gene silencing involves exogenous double stranded RNA molecules that prevent gene expression by triggering a mechanism that leads to the degradation and silencing of endogenous mRNA molecules (Meister and Tuschl …show more content…
Interferons are proteins made and released by host cells in response to the presence of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites. The researchers suggested that using dsRNAs of longer than 30 base pairs would trigger these interferon responses. They found that cleaved dsRNAs of less than 30 base pairs would not activate these antiviral immune responses because they went undetected. The study confirmed that specific gene silencing in mammalian cells could be accomplished by cleaving the long dsRNAs into strands of 19 to 21 base pairs (Chang et al.

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