D-RNAi (Messenger RNA-antisense DNA interference), a novel posttranscriptional phenomenon of silencing gene expression by transfection of mRNA-aDNA hybrids, was originally observed in the effects of bcl-2 on phorbol ester-induced apoptosis in human prostate cancer LNCaP cells. This phenomenon was also demonstrated in chicken embryos and a human CD4(+) T cell line, H9. The in vivo transduction of beta-catenin D-RNAi was shown to knock out more than 99% endogenous beta-catenin gene expression, while the in cell transfection of HIV-1 D-RNAi homolog rejected viral gene replication completely. D-RNAi was found to have long-term gene knockout effects resulting from a posttranscriptional gene silencing mechanism that may involve the homologous recombination between intracellular mRNA and the mRNA components of a D-RNAi construct. These findings provide a potential intracellular defense system against cancer and viral infections.