The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2006 was shared by A.Z. Fire and C.C. Mello. The honour was given to these two principal investigators for demonstrating in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that double stranded RNA directs cleavage of messenger RNAs (mRNA) in a homologous manner. This process was termed RNA interference (RNAi) and was published in 1998. Since then, further research revealed that small 21-22 nts long RNAs guide an RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) to a target mRNA causing translational inhibition or mRNA cleavage. This review will focus on RNAi patents, delivery of RNAi to combat human disease and reviewing some recent applications regarding detection and possible cure of human diseases using RNAi.
Keywords: RNA interference (RNAi), human disease, RNAi delivery, patents
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