The specific targeting and inactivation of gene expression represents nowdays the goal of the mainstream basic and applied biomedical research. Both researchers and pharmaceutical companies, taking advantage of the vast amount of genomic data, have been focusing on effective endogenous mechanisms of the cell that can be used against abnormal gene expression. In this context, RNA represents a key molecule that serves both as tool and target for deploying molecular strategies based on the suppression of genes of interest. The main RNA-mediated therapeutic methodologies, deriving from studies on catalytic activity of ribozymes, blockage of mRNA translation and the recently identified RNA interference, will be discussed in an effort to understand the utilities of RNA as a central molecule during gene expression.
Keywords: Ribozymes, hammerhead, hairpin, self splicing introns, RNA interference, antisense, RNase P, M1 RNA, gene therapy, gene inactivation
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