RNA interference (RNAi) is a highly conserved gene silencing mechanism that uses double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) as a signal to trigger the degradation of homologous mRNA. The mediators of sequence-specific mRNA degradation are 21- to 23-nt small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) generated by ribonuclease III cleavage from longer dsRNAs. Twenty-one-nucleotide siRNA duplexes trigger specific gene silencing in mammalian somatic cells without activation of the unspecific interferon response. Here we provide a collection of protocols for siRNA-mediated knockdown of mammalian gene expression. Because of the robustness of the siRNA knockdown technology, genomewide analysis of human gene function in cultured cells has now become possible.
(c) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).