Gene silencing using antisense RNA or RNA interference (RNAi) is now a popular method used in eukaryotes.
However, RNAi mechanism is absent in bacteria, and hence, single-stranded antisense RNAs, DNAs or nucleic acid
analogs are used. Gene silencing in bacteria are achieved by either one of the following two approaches: expressing
antisense RNAs using expression plasmids or adding synthetic antisense agents into the culture media. Recently, many
advances on this method have been reported. In particular, the problem of low silencing efficiency has been solved
remarkably, and as a result, this method is being used practically in biotechnology. This review mainly deals with the
features and applications of gene silencing as a gene function subtracting method. Also, gene disruption is described as a
competing and mutually complementary method.
Keywords: Antisense RNA, Escherichia coli, gene disruption, gene knock-down, gene knock-out, gene silencing, growth
essential gene, LNA, locked nucleic acid, paired-termini, peptide nucleic acid, PNA, RNA silencing, ribosome-binding site.
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